Undefeated World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight champion Mikey Garcia will make his first title defense, against former two-division world champion Juan Manuel “JuanMa” Lopez, Saturday, June 15, at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. The fighters met in Dallas today for the opening press conference, and right here you’ll find all of the details.
The fight will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark, beginning at 10:45 p.m. ET/PT. This will be the first time HBO has televised a boxing event from the American Airlines Center. Making their Dallas debut, Garcia and Lopez boast a combined record of 64-2 (56 KOs) — a winning percentage of 97% and a victory by knockout ratio of 87.5%.
“Mikey proved in his last fight that he is a world champion. Now he has to prove he can remain a world champion when he faces one of the toughest men in the division in two-time world champion Juanma,” said Todd duBoef, president of Top Rank.
“This caps off an incredible run for boxing during the first half of 2013.”
“Mikey Garcia versus Juan Manuel Lopez is a can’t miss attraction,” says Kery Davis, senior vice president, HBO Sports.
“Dallas is a first-class sports destination and we’re thrilled to be going to the American Airlines Center. June 15 is a date fight fans need to circle on their boxing calendar.”
Garcia (31-0, 26 KOs), of Oxnard Calif., a 2010 graduate of California’s Ventura County Police and Sheriff’s Reserve Officer Academy, returns to the ring having won 14 of his past 16 bouts by knockout. In his last fight, on January 19, he dethroned two-time featherweight champion Orlando Salido at Madison Square Garden via an eight-round technical win that had Garcia winning virtually every round against the seasoned veteran.
Garcia, 25, had a career-best year in 2011, knocking out previously undefeated contender Matt Remillard in the 10th round in March to capture his NABF and NABO title belts. He followed that with four-round knockout title defense victories of Rafael Guzman and Juan Carlos Martinez in June and October, respectively. Guzman and Martinez had a combined record of 47-14-1 when they fought Garcia.
Last year, he continued his winning ways, knocking out one-time world title challenger Bernabe Concepcion and former world champion Mauricio Pastrana, in the seventh and second rounds, respectively. He ended his 2012 campaign by knocking out former WBA featherweight champion Jonathan Barros in the eighth round on November 10, 2012.
Garcia is trained by his father Eduardo Garcia and co-managed and trained by his brother, 2012 Trainer of the Year Robert Garcia, the former IBF junior lightweight champion.
Lopez (33-2, 30 KOs), from Caguas, Puerto Rico, returns to the ring for the third time this year, with 21 of his past 22 victories coming by way of knockout. The latest victims were Aldimar Santos and Eugenio Lopez on February 2 and April 20, respectively.
The pride of Puerto Rico’s only blemishes on his sterling record have come from Salido, who scored world title victories over Lopez in 2011 and 2012. Lopez earned his first world title by knocking out defending WBO junior featherweight champion Daniel Ponce De Leon in the first round of their June 2008 fight.
After five successful title defenses – four by knockout – he vacated the title and successfully challenged WBO featherweight champion Steven Luevano, stopping him in the seventh round, on January 28, 2010, at Madison Square Garden.
He successfully defended his featherweight crown twice during his 15-month reign with an exciting second-round TKO of Bernabe Concepcion and an eighth-round TKO of two division world champion Rafael Márquez.
Promoted by Top Rank®, in association with PR Best Boxing, Foreman Boys Promotions and Tecate, tickets, priced at $200, $100, $60, $40 and $25, will go on sale This Saturday, May 11 at 10:00 a.m. CT. Tickets can be purchased at the American Airlines Center box office, online at Ticketmaster.com, by calling Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000, or by visiting any Ticketmaster outlet.