CABALLERO TO LOPEZ "JUST ME AND YOU NOW"
HOLLYWOOD, FL, July 16 – In the boxing business, what’s here today may be gone tomorrow, and long term planning usually never pans out the way it’s supposed to. Such has been the case in the talent-rich super bantamweight division, and no one’s happier about recent developments than IBF / WBA champion Celestino Caballero.
“Everyone who knows me is aware that I’m a man of great faith, and I believe in destiny,” he said. “And I’ve said for a while now that my destiny is to face Juan Manuel Lopez in a fight to determine once and for all who the best 122-pound fighter in the world is. I know the answer to that question, and I’m hoping that now we’re one step closer to letting the world know it as well.”
Lopez, the unbeaten WBO super bantamweight champion from Puerto Rico, has talked about facing everyone but the man who holds two title belts in his division. Unfortunately for him, two of his targets – Israel Vazquez and Rafael Marquez – are in the preliminary stages of putting together a fourth bout between them, and a third, unproven Cuban prospect Yuriorkis Gamboa, was recently scrapped from a July 25th bout due to Visa issues, delaying the plans to get him more exposure in order to put together a fight between him and Lopez.
Lopez can continue to fight undersized mandatory challengers and build his record, or he can step up to the plate and face the man true fight fans want to see him in the ring with – Panama’s Caballero, unbeaten in the last five years with 13 straight wins.
“It’s just me and you now, JuanMa,” said Caballero to Lopez. “I won’t lie; I know that beating you will finally give me the recognition that I deserve, and I know you want to fight anyone but a 5 foot 11 puncher like me. But being a champion means testing yourself against the best. You know in your heart that the fighters you’re getting in the ring with aren’t as good as I am. Don’t try to fool your fans – fight me and win or lose, you will have proven yourself worthy of being called ‘champion.’”