JuanMa Goes Down, Gets Up, Drops and Stops Ponce in Puerto Rico

Kid is shot.

Time to hang ’em up.

Great kid, don’t want to see him looking and sounding bad in a coupla years…

They were saying it before Juan Manuel Lopez’ rematch against Daniel Ponce De Leon Saturday night in Puerto Rico, and they were saying it loud, not pulling half a punch.

JuanMa, 30-year-old, a loser by TKO in three of his last seven outings, argued otherwise.

I plan to win by KO, he declared.

Many if not most chuckled. But guess what, friends? He did it. He showed them, and by them, I won’t pretend I didn’t think that Ponce would get the W on this Golden Boy/Showtime card.

JuanMa had them hollering from his Caguas, and at the arena in Bayamon, with a TKO2 victory over his Mexican foe, who himself has now lost two of his last three via stoppage.

JuanMa scored a TKO1 win over Ponce when they faced off in June 2008.

Both held titles at 122 and 126, for the record.In the first, JML, a lefty, scored with a stiff hook on the fellow lefty right off.

A right hook by Ponce had the crowd buzzing at 1:40. JML was backing up a lot, moving to his right, popping the jab, scooting away.

In the second, Ponce opened it up to start the second. A left hand caught JuanMa backing up, and sent him down at 1:31, but he was up clear-eyed. Lopez answered with a right hook, and Ponce was too wobbly when he got up. Lopez flurried and Ponce dropped to his knees. He got up, but was backed against the ropes, eating clean shots, when the ref, Luis Pabon, halted it.

Lopez went 22-69 to 37-99 for the 33-year-old loser.

Seems like the rise from 126 to 130 agreed with the victor, eh?

JuanMa rises to 34-3, while Ponce is 45-6.

To Jim Gray post-fight, JuanMa said that he was hit by a strong punch and was off balance when he got dropped but he wanted to show the fans he has heart. Was he thinking about the end of the line? No, he said that he looked to his corner, they said be calm, and he complied. The corner told him to use that right hook, and he listened, he said. And was the stoppage at the right time? Yes, he said, because he wasn’t throwing back.

Gray asked Ponce if the stoppage was righteous. No, the Mexican said, the second knockdown was in error, and he said the ref came in “too early” at the end.

Brooklyn’s Danny Jacobs (27-1) moved a step closer to a title crack, with his KO1 win over Milton Nunez (26-9-1), who most expected to get whacked out quick. Nunez said he had four weeks to get ready, a lot for him, but it was for naught. A left hook dropped Nunez at 1:10 in the first. A right high on the head repeated the act. A long left hook sent him on his butt, and the ref waved it off with out a count. It was the fifth time he was knocked out in round one.

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