Distinguished by power, patience and mostly his punch output, unbeaten super featherweight Juan Manuel Lopez showed again Saturday night why he's all the rage as Puerto Rico's latest fistic sensation.
Lopez, affectionately known as "Juanma" to his fans, delighted the crowd of 10,000 at the Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez in Bayamon, Puerto Rico with a systematic beat-down of two-division former world champion Gerry Penalosa (54-7-2, 36 KOs).
The Caguas, P.R. native, headlining HBO's Boxing After Dark doubleheader, ran his record to 25-0 with his 23rd knockout when Penalosa's trainer Freddie Roach halted the scheduled 12-rounder at the end of the ninth round.
"(Lopez) was just too strong for him," Roach said after his battle-tested fighter from Manila, the Phillipines was stopped for the first time in his career. "Physically he was overpowering. Gerry fought a game fight, but I had to make the right move. He was just taking too much punishment."
Lopez landed 444 of an incredible 1020 punches thrown in nine rounds. That included a Compubox super featherweight record when Lopez connected on 84 of 129 power punches in the eight round.
"We're obviously ready for the big challenges," Lopez said after his latest dominating performance.
In the co-featured bout, unbeaten junior welterweight Lamont Peterson (27-0, 23 KOs) raised his profile by stopping previously unbeaten Willy Blain (20-1, 3 KOs) at 1:11 of the seventh round. Peterson, from Washington, D.C., worked the body and head to dominate Blain. The Hamburg, Germany southpaw couldn't continue after injuring his right thumb, enabling Peterson to win the scheduled 12-rounder by TKO.