Juan Manuel Lopez (WBO Featherweight champion)
Ok, so everyone is waiting to hear when and if Floyd Mayweather Jr. will take on Manny Pacquiao.
True, it's a fight that could break PPV records. But Mayweather and Pacquiao aren't only two boxers in the world. July is a month filled with excellent matchups. Several fighters -hot prospects and veterans- will be putting their reputations and gaudy records on the line.
July 9 - Philadelphia's newest boxing prodigy Mike Jones (21-0, 17 KOs) will take on Irving Garcia (17-4-3, 8 KOs) in a 12-round welterweight bout at the Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall. Jones, a highly touted 147-pounder with power, is hoping to break into the limelight. Jones would've been Shane Mosley's opponent last May if Mosley didn't sign on the dotted line to face Mayweather. Jones' fight can be seen on SHOWTIME'S Shobox: The Next Generation beginning at 11 p.m.
July 10 - Juan Manuel Lopez (28-0, 25 KOs) will put his perfect record and WBO featherweight title on the line against Bernabe Concepcion (30-2-1, 17 KOs) in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. You can see this live on SHOWTIME at 9 p.m. The main undercard will feature Nonito Donaire (23-1, 15 KOs) against Hernan Marquez (25-1, 18 KOs) for the interim WBA super flyweight championship.
July 16 - Jab Judah (38-6, 26 KOs) will try and resurrect his career against Jose Armando Santa Cruz (28-4, 17 KOs) in a 12-round, junior welterweight bout at the Prudential Center in Newark. It's Judah's first fight since he stopped Ubaldo Hernandez last November at the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. Judah, who went back to his roots and signed a promotional deal with Main Events, will fight at 140 pounds after fighting at 147 for the last six-plus years.
July 17 - Timothy Bradley (25-0, 11 KOs) will put his unblemished record on the line against Luis Carlos Abregu (29-0, 23 KOs) in a 12-round bout at the Agua Caliente Casino in Rancho Mirage, CA. But there is a catch for Bradley, the WBO junior welterweight champ. He'll be fighting at 147 pounds for the first time in his career. His title won't be on the line, but his status as one of the world's best pound-for-pound fighters will be. This fight can be seen on HBO's Boxing After Dark.
July 31 - Juan Manuel Marquez (50-5-1, 37 KOs) will take on Juan Diaz (35-3, 17 KOs) in a 12-round lightweight bout at the Mandalay Bay. This is a rematch of what most considered the fight of the year last year. Marquez scored a ninth-round TKO of Diaz in February, 2009. It's an important fight for Diaz, who was taken apart by Paulie Malignaggi last December. For Marquez, it's a return to his natural weight after getting picked apart by Floyd Mayweather last September. This fight will be available HBO PPV.
The undercard of this night should be equally as intriguing. Brooklyn's Daniel Jacobs (20-0, 17 KOs) will take on Russia's hot prospect Dmitry Pirog (16-0, 13 KOs) in a 12-round middleweight bout for the WBO title. Robert Guerrero (26-1-1, 18 KOs) will square off against Joel Casamayor (37-4-1, 22 KOs) in a 10-round welterweight bout, while Jorge Linares (28-1, 18 KOs) will fight Rocky Juarez (28-6-1, 20 KOs) in what should be an exciting 135-pound bout.
So yes, there is life before and after Mayweather-Pacquiao. The hope is that the rest of the sports world will pay attention.