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Cuellar knocks out Lopez in two rounds


By John J. Raspanti

WBA interim featherweight titleholder Jesus Cuellar wasted little time in brutalizing former two-division champion Juan Manuel Lopez in two rounds Thursday night at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Lopez said after the fight that his career was likely over.

We can only hope so.

Cuellar (25-1, 19 KOs) had little trouble tagging Lopez (34-5, 31 KOs) with multiple shots in the opening stanza. Lopez tried to box, but that’s not his game.

He burst onto the boxing scene eight years ago by scoring nine straight knockouts.

Lopez captured the WBO super bantamweight championship in 2008 by flattening Daniel Ponce De Leon in one round. He engaged in two ferocious battles with Orlando Salida.

He’s about as much of a boxer as Paulie Malignaggi is a slugger.

Cuellar, 27, treated him like a part-time sparring partner. He fired punches with little fear.

Lopez was a step behind and by the end of the round, had swelling over his right eye.

Cuellar began round two by connecting with a long overhand left. The always courageous Lopez tried to battle back. A right hand landed, but Cuellar didn’t blink. Cuellar continued to tee-off with shots to the head and body.

With Lopez, 31, languishing on the ropes, Cuellar let fly with a four-punch combination.

All of the punches landed flush on the chin.

Separated from his senses, the former champion sunk to the canvas.

Referee Tony Weeks immediately waved off the contest.

The time was 1:36 seconds of round two.

Lopez has now been knocked out in three of his last four bouts. This past July he was stopped by Francisco Vargas.

Why he was even fighting again so soon is a question that needs to be asked.

The victory was the eighth in a row for Cuellar.

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