Fight News

WBO Suspends Juan Manuel Lopez for Post-Fight Comments

The World Boxing Organization (WBO) has suspended former champion Juan Manuel Lopez for one year over his comments last Saturday accusing referee Roberto Ramirez of corruption.

The World Boxing Organization (WBO) has suspended former champion Juan Manuel Lopez for one year over his comments last Saturday accusing referee Roberto Ramirez of corruption.

The one year ban was confirmed by WBO president Francisco Valcarcel, who explained Lopez will have five days to appeal.

“He has five days to show us why we should rescind the suspension,” said Valcarel to Boxingscene.com. “Right now [he is] suspended for one year. We are giving him the chance to convince us [to reconsider] in five days. And we took the apology into consideration.”

“His expressions were very misguided and unfounded. I know it was a moment of frustration but you have to know how to behave at all times. This is a sport where you win and lose.”

Lopez suffered his a second knockout loss in his native Puerto Rico to Orlando Salido last Saturday in a nationally televised bout on Showtime. In his post-fight interview with Jim Gray, Lopez called the stoppage premature and claimed Roberto Ramirez was a corrupt referee with a gambling problem. On Monday, Lopez apologized for his comments and issued a written apology to Ramirez.

At press time, Lopez could not be reached for comment.

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This is so unnecessary and borders on the absurd, especially coming for a boxing sanctioning body. For the most part, I don’t put too much stock in what a fighter says immediately after a brutal fight. They’ve been punched in the head for rounds on end and won’t have the clearest thinking patterns. And if they lost, it’s a tough pill to swallow that on this night they were the lesser fighter.

We all groaned when Lopez claimed that he was dominating and that the stoppage was premature. But no one with any sense took it seriously. Not even five minutes before, the man was nearly beaten unconscious and stumbling around the ring clearly out of his right mind. Now a microphne is shoved in his face and he’s asked to explain why he got thrashed again in front of his fans. More than likely Lopez got “concussed” and probably doesn’t even remember those final hellacious rounds. Cut the man some slack.

Ramirez said he won’t accept Lopez’s apology unless he does it in a public forum like the initial accusation. That’s his prerogative, and Lopez calling a press conference would be fair. But the WBO needs to check themselves and fall back on this ridiculous suspension. They say they took into account his apology before making the suspension. Maybe they should take into greater account the classic fight he gave them last Saturday.

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