Juan Manuel Lopez will remain in prison ahead of his next court date.

A preliminary hearing held Tuesday at Caguas Court of First Instance revealed that the legal team for Lopez—led by attorney Jaime Barcelo—was not prepared to proceed with its case due to the former two-division titlist’s current incarceration hindering his ability to assist with the defense. Presiding judge Jose Anglada granted the motion, along with a new court date of October 5 set to review current charges against the former boxer.

Lopez faces seven total counts of aggravated assault and physical and psychological abuse, stemming from four alleged incidents of gender violence against ex-girlfriend Andrea Ojeda Cruz. Lopez, 38, surrendered to authorities on September 7 and was formally charged the next day in Caguas Court, after which he was released upon posting $175,000 bond and with instructions to return to court on Tuesday.

That dynamic was compromised after Lopez was arrested last Wednesday due to violating the terms of his bail agreement after making contact with the alleged victim. Lopez’s attendance on Tuesday was limited to video conference call, wearing a tan prison jump suit and face mask during the sixteen-minute session.

Lopez faces six counts of physical assault under the domestic violence statute, along with one separate count of psychological abuse. All seven charges were introduced during the preliminary probable cause hearing after prosecuting attorney Jaime Perea Mercado interviewed the victim, at which point the prosecutor’s office claimed the boxer was in violation of Sections 3.1 (Abuse) and 3.3 (Abuse by Threat) of Puerto Rico’s Domestic Abuse Prevention and Intervention Act, commonly known as Law 54.

Judge Isander Rivera Morales set bond at $175,000, which Lopez posted. Terms of the bail agreement included his remaining under house arrest and electronic surveillance pending further hearings. That is no longer the case given his recent arrest, as he will remain in jail at least through the October 5 hearing.

All of the above charges are classified as fourth-degree felonies, carrying a maximum sentence of three years each. Lopez could face up to 21 years in prison if found guilty on all charges, along with criminal restitution to compensate the victim for any losses suffered as a result of the alleged crimes.

The story quickly made the rounds after Ojeda took to her personal Instagram page to reveal a series of photos and videos accusing Lopez of repeated physical and emotional abuse. Ojeda alleged the acts of domestic violence were going on for years and often attributed to alcohol abuse.

“I left JuanMa because JuanMa is an abuser,” Ojeda stated on social media. “JuanMa is an abuser, he is an abusive man… a man who has issues with alcoholism. When JuanMa drinks… he turns into a person that is not himself.”

Lopez was previously charged with similar actions in 2015 with then-partner Geraldine Crespo.  The charges were dropped due to Crespo ultimately refusing to cooperate with authorities who sought to proceed with the case.

However, Ojeda’s decision to come forward prompted a similar accusation from another ex-girlfriend of Lopez. Marangely Lozada cited the boxer’s battles with alcoholism and aggression in citing psychological abuse, though not revealing any incidents of being physically harmed.

Lopez (36-6-1, 32KOs) has not fought since May 2019, having formally retired last March at the start of the pandemic. A member of the 2004 Puerto Rico Olympic team that competed in Athens, Lopez boxed pro on and off from 2004-2019, having won WBO titles at junior featherweight and featherweight. The well-schooled southpaw ran his record to 30-0 before running into Orlando Salido, suffering an eighth-round knockout in April 2011.

A rematch with Salido in March 2012 proved just as competitive though with a similar outcome, as Lopez was stopped in the tenth-round of their WBO featherweight title fight in San Juan. In an interview immediately after the fight, Lopez claimed the fight was prematurely stopped due to a vendetta held by Roberto Ramirez Sr. whom the boxer accused of having a gambling problem.

The harsh allegations resulted in Lopez being dealt a one-year suspension, though slightly reduced as he returned to the ring in February 2013. He was unable to recapture past glory by that point, winning just five of his final ten fights before his official retirement last March.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox