Both Juan Manuel Lopez and Yuriorkis Gamboa came out victorious in Miami on Saturday in respective 10-round bouts, setting up a showdown between the two in March.
The 35-year-old Lopez (36-6, 32 KOs) defeated Christian Mino (19-3, 2 KOs) over 10 rounds in an entertaining affair that saw Mino hit the canvas four times. But Lopez, who weighed in just under the lightweight limit at 134.8 pounds, never was able to put away the game Mino, of Argentina.
In the most exciting moment of the bout, both men connected flush on the other's jaw and simultaneously put the other on his heels early in Round 5. Lopez got the worse of the exchange, and Mino quickly jumped on him before he was able to weather the storm. Throughout the night, the southpaw from Puerto Rico controlled the action with his advantages in size and strength.
Lopez was ruled the winner by scores of 97-88 and 96-89 (twice).
Gamboa (29-2, 17 KOs) was featured in the main event and nearly scored a spectacular first-round knockout of Miguel Beltran (33-7, 22 KOs) when he sent the Mexican boxer face-first to the canvas in the neutral corner with a blistering counter right cross. Beltran, though, was saved by the bell.
For the most part, the 36-year-old Gamboa, who weighed in at 135.25 pounds, easily outboxed Beltran by circling the ring and consistently beating him to the punch with his faster hands. After the eye-opening beginning to the fight, Gamboa settled into a methodical groove and was content to cruise to a wide unanimous victory by scores of 99-90, 98-91 and 100-89.