MANILA, Philippines – Former featherweight champion Juan Manuel Lopez is counting on Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire to defeat Cuban boxer Guillermo Rigondeaux in their title unification fight this coming April.
In an interview with Boxing Scene, Lopez predicted a Donaire victory and admitted that he hopes to be the next opponent of “The Filipino Flash.”
“It is a tough fight for both guys,” he said. “Rigondeaux is a great fighter with good skills, very technical.”
“I feel that this is Nonito’s time, and that he will win a dominating decision,” Lopez added.
Lopez, who recently knocked out Aldimar Silva in his return to the ring after almost one year out of action, said he will be willing to fight Donaire at a catchweight.
“I would be willing to fight him at 128-pounds,” he said.
Donaire currently campaigns at 122-pounds, though he has expressed a desire to move up to featherweight (126-pounds) by the end of the year.
Lopez will also welcome a fight against Rigondeaux should the Cuban wind up victorious, but Lopez said “it would be more difficult to make.”
Lopez has a record of 32 wins against two losses, with 29 wins coming by knockout. The two losses of his career have both come at the hands of reigning champion Orlando Salido.
After getting knocked out by Salido in their March 2012 title fight, he accused the referee of being paid to stop the bout and was subsequently handed a one-year suspension by the World Boxing Organization. [http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/sports/03/13/12/juanma-apologizes-ref-faces-ban-wbo]