Tuesday it was announced that former featherweight champ, Juan Manuel Lopez, had his license suspended by the Boxing Commission of Puerto Rico (CBPPR) for comments he made following his tenth round TKO loss to Orlando Salido last March 10 in San Juan.
Lopez, just moments after suffering the jarring TKO loss, told Showtime interviewer, Jim Gray, that referee Roberto Ramirez Sr. was a known gambler. The insinuation being, of course, that the stoppage had something to do with Ramirez's gambling. The former Olympian would go on to say that Roberto Ramirez Jr., son of Ramirez Sr. and the referee in the first Lopez-Salido bout, was also a known gambler.
Despite several public apologies, Lopez was punished harshly for his post-fight remarks. Aside from the one year suspension, which begins following Lopez's mandatory six-month medical suspension, the former titlist must pay a $10,000 fine and provide 100 hours of community service. Under the terms of the suspension, the soonest Lopez could step back into a Puerto Rican ring would be September of 2013.
But don't cry for Juanma, fight fans. This is boxing, remember?
Lopez may not be able to fight in his native Puerto Rico, but there will be plenty of other fight venues opening up for the 28-year-old southpaw. The big time world of professional prize fighting is hardly a high-minded society of do-gooders, especially when it comes to a fighter with a name and earning potential.
Remember, if you will, the case of Antonio Margarito.
Margarito committed a much graver sin than Lopez, actually looking to wear loaded hand wraps into the ring against Shane Mosley in 2009. He also received a much stiffer sentence-- a full license revocation from the California State Athletic Commission.
Still, even with the stink from an attempted in-ring plaster-assisted brain splatter all over him, there was a line formed as to which commission would host Margarito's future fights. The disgraced pugilist would wind up fighting in Mexico, Texas, and New York following the "Plaster Gate" debacle while making a nearly ten-figure combined payday for the three bouts. Currently, the only question mark surrounding Margarito's career has to do with the eye injury he sustained against Manny Pacquiao. Other than that, he's by no means a commission pariah and would have no problem finding opponents for future dates.
So, really, this recent ruling against Lopez is hardly a death blow to his career. As a matter of fact, all the publicity might even serve to make him a bigger star than ever. It certainly worked wonders for Margarito's bottom line.
Forget about the suspension from the Puerto Rican commission and its effect on the popular fighter's career, the real question is whether Orlando Salido effectively ended the career of Lopez. Two consecutive brutal stoppages at the hands of the blue collar Salido may have destroyed Lopez, both physically and mentally. But, in terms of business, the former champ will likely be able to fight as soon as he wants (after the medical suspension) and as frequently as he chooses.
Juanma plans on appealing his suspension, but even if he loses the appeal it's hardly a career death sentence. He may be cut off from fighting at home, but there will be plenty of black hat hosts, like the increasingly infamous Texas commission, ready and willing to take him in.
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Paul Magno was a licensed official in the state of Michoacan, Mexico and a close follower of the sport for more than thirty years. He is also a contributor to Fox Sports. In the past, Paul has done work for Inside Fights, The Queensberry Rules and Eastside Boxing.
Yahoo! Sports, Juan Manuel Lopez loses boxing license for 1 year