most of former World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight champion Orlando “Siri”
Salido’s, 41-12-2 (28), career, he has seldom been the central story leading
into his own fights.
storyline was no different heading into his fight last Saturday against Vasyl
Lomachenko, 1-1 (1), on the undercard of Julio Cesar Chavez’s Jr.’s rematch with
Bryan Vera, live from San Antonio, Texas on HBO. This point was referenced by
ringside analyst Max Kellerman, who said, “Salido has seldom been the story
going into his own fights.” This fight, in which Vasyl was trying to secure
Salido’s World Boxing Organization (WBO) featherweight title, was a close one that
saw the never-say-die Salido maul, brawl and claw his way to a split decision
win over the favored Lomachenko (the title was not on the line for former
champion Salido as he failed to make weight). The win, which will likely be his
last fight at featherweight, allows “Siri” to continue his career, something
that perhaps would have been looked at closely by manager Sean Gibbons had
Salido been beaten convincingly.
are finally going to have to give the rugged Salido his props. Salido has
beaten some excellent fighters in his career and is a multiple world champion.
However, early days in the sport littered his record with some losses that seem
to have misled and influenced fans’ opinions about the tough, talented Mexican.
And once again on Saturday night, when he entered the ring, Salido was thought to
be a quality but ultimately beatable B-side foil for the emerging, former
amateur star Lomachenko, who was being groomed by his promoter, Top Rank Promotions
to win a world title in only his second bout. One could assume the script was
to usher Salido into retirement with a nice payday and set up amateur star Lomachenko
for a bout down the line with another former amateur standout, World Boxing Association
(WBA) and WBO super featherweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux later in the
year in a battle of two Olympic legends.
once again, the tough Salido had other ideas and in the end, held off the
challenge of the talented, former amateur standout. Most fans felt going into
the fight that Salido would get outboxed or if Salido could survive early and
get Lomachenko into the later rounds, he could impose himself and perhaps get a
late stoppage. In the end, the fight went the full 12 rounds and Salido found himself
getting the nod in a close, split decision. Nobody was surprised that
iron-tough Salido never took a step backward. Some fans may have been surprised
in the fashion Lomachenko fought as he seemed to conserve energy all night,
perhaps concerned about the later rounds in his first 12-round bout.
afforded the aggressive Salido the luxury of not having to look for Vasyl in
the ring as the Russian challenger seemed to conserve the mileage on his legs
in the early rounds. The fight featured a lot of holding from Lomachenko and a
few blows straying south of the border from Salido but it appeared that Orlando
was ahead on the cards heading into the last couple of rounds. However, a
strong surge from Lomachenko in the last round had the former champion Salido
hurt to a degree. But like he has done so many times in his career, “Siri” hung
tough and gutted out the win.
would be easy to say that Salido is simply an old-school tough guy and make no mistake; in boxing that is a compliment.
However, when you do it at the elite, championship-level, that is a different
story. As HBO ringside announcer and former pound-for-pound champion Roy Jones
Jr. observed, “This guy has the heart of a real champion.”
the last dozen years, Salido has drained himself to make weight and on Saturday
evening, his body just said, “No mas,” but in a smart move, Salido’s team declined
to not even try to encourage him to make weight. At his age and stage of his
career, the potential weight loss would have depleted him of any strength going
into the fight. By declining to try to lose more weight and electing to forfeit
some of his purse, he, in essence, gained a huge weight and health advantage
going into the fight by not torturing his already-drained body trying to shed
his last two pounds.
he didn’t retain his title, Salido (more importantly) won the fight and in the
end, that was what counted. He will now continue a few pounds north and look to
secure a couple more fights against boxing’s 130-pound elite before he calls it
a career. And at some point, the boxing world is going to have to give this guy
his due and start to see him as more than a gutsy, overachiever. Don’t be
surprised to see him upsetting the odds again and adding another impressive “W”
to his résumé in his next fight. However, maybe this time, Orlando Salido will
be the story going in.
visit our Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/MaxBoxing,
where you can discuss our content with Maxboxing readers as well as chime in
via our fully interactive article comments sections.
Thank you for using DoghouseBoxing.com