DALLAS -- Former champion Juan Manuel Lopez says his fight next month against WBO featherweight title-holder Mikey Garcia is the most important of his career.
Lopez is facing Garcia at American Airlines Center in Dallas on June 15 after losing twice to Orlando Salido in a span of a year. The first loss cost the Puerto Rican fighter the featherweight title Garcia now holds.
Speaking through an interpreter, Lopez said at a news conference Thursday promoting the fight that he wants to "prove I belong at this elite level."
Garcia beat Salido in New York in January to take the title and says he's looking forward to his first defence. Garcia is 31-0 with 26 knockouts.
Lopez's only two professional losses in 35 fights were to Salido. He has 30 knockouts.