Orlando Salido looks to make one more run in 2018
Shortly after being stopped by fellow Mexican Miguel “Mickey” Roman, on Saturday, December 9, at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, in Las Vegas, Nevada, Orlando “Siri” Salido decided that, after nearly 22 years and 63 trips to the plate, as a professional, it was time to step away.
Salido immediately announced his retirement from boxing in the post-fight interview with HBO’s Max Kellerman.
“I’m just an old fighter now,” he said. “As they say, Father Time is undefeated. All the wars I had caught up with me tonight. I am leaving the ring knowing that I gave the fans as great a fight that I can give them. I hope they enjoyed it. The mind and heart were there but my body just was not responding. Roman is a young fighter who gave his all and I was not able to keep up with him.”
If this indeed was his last fight, Salido had once again thrilled fans with another fantastic bout, as he had done so many times in his career, waging war with Francisco Vargas, Vasyl Lomachenko, Rocky Martinez, Mikey Garcia, Juan Manuel Marquez, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Juan Manuel Lopez.
Upon announcing his retirement, Salido almost appeared relieved to say it was finally over. While he has consistently been one of boxing’s most durable and exciting warriors, over the last two decades, that line of work takes its toll on the body.
HBO commentator and former world light heavyweight champion Andre Ward had commented, after the bout, that, in the pre-fight meetings, “Salido looked tired; you could see it in his eyes. This was a guy that had been in a lot of wars and he just looked like a tired fighter.”
And while Salido certainly waged a spirited effort, in a thrilling back-and-forth battle with a younger Roman, after three trips to the canvas, referee Robert Byrd stepped in to wave things off, saving Salido from any further damage.
However, in a surprise to many, just five days after the bout, Salido announced that he would like to return to boxing in 2018. He cited issues with his weight, coming into camp, and the long layoff before the bout as reasons for his less-than-stellar performance at the Mandalay Bay. He feels, with proper preparation and a better handle on his weight, he can indeed return to championship form.
“I feel I left the fight on the scale. No excuse but one fight in 18 months did not help me to stay in condition for what was an extremely strong preparation but one in which the weight became the obstacle to overcome,” said Salido in the week following the loss to Roman. “While I was happy with the fight I offered to the public on Saturday, I know I can still do things better and so I will keep my options open in 2018 and, if something good comes at 130 or 135 pounds, I would seriously think about coming back.”
While Salido seemed pretty sure he was ready to step away from boxing in the moments following the Roman loss, upon reflection, he obviously had a different perspective later.
“Sometimes, at the end of a fight and in the heat of the moment, you say things that, when you take time to reflect, they should not have been said,” said Salido. “I want to return to the ring and give my fans more shows and I think I still have something good to offer to boxing.”
UCNLive.com caught up with Salido manager Sean Gibbons to get his thoughts on Siri’s decision to possibly return to the ring next year.
Bill Tibbs: Hey Sean; Season’s Greetings. Let’s get right into it. Salido says he’d like to come back next year. What are your thoughts on that?
Sean Gibbons: You know, under normal circumstances, if it was time to step away and call it a day, I’d be the first one to support that decision. But there were a lot of things that went on in camp that didn’t sit right with him. He said he was around 159, going into camp, which turned out to be about six weeks. And he was, he weighed 159 pounds. Normally he takes the weight off slowly over about three months but, this time, he took the weight off too quickly and he looked good, when you looked at him, but he was very weak. He said, during the fight, that the head shots didn’t affect him at all and he really didn’t have any problems from them but he did say the body shots really took a toll on him in a way he had never felt before. He told me, after he fight, that ‘when I got hit to the body it was like all the energy got sapped out of me. It was like I had no muscle over my bones. Every shot to the body really hurt me in a different way in this fight. I just felt very weak to the body.’
BT: Were you aware that he was struggling in camp to get his weight in check?
SG: Like I said, he looked like a beautiful old car you take out of the garage. Polish it up and it looks fine but maybe isn’t really ready to run the way it did before. The time off was just way too long and it really affected him. He made weight, on weigh-in day, no problem, but he was weaker than he realized. Then, the fuckin’ VADA (drug testing through Volunteer Anti-Doping Association) sat in his room, for six hours, waiting him him to pee. What the fuck is up with that? They weren’t testing Roman at all? What kind of bullshit is that? How can you have a level playing field when you test one guy but not the other? Listen to me: I’m getting all worked up about this. Maybe I should ask those people from VADA what is up with that? How can you have a level playing field and fair testing policy when they only test one of the fighters? Something is going on there but that isn’t right. (Editor’s note: Roman is also enrolled in the VADA testing program.)
BT: Being a four-time world champion, Salido has earned a certain level of fights. Is the plan to build off a few wins again or would you like to go right into a big fight?
SG: It has to be the right fight, in the right time frame, and a fight that makes sense. It has to happen in the right time frame. I’d like to see it happen in the first three or four months of 2018. I told him to take it easy over the holidays, relax, keep the weight in check and we’ll look at some options in the New Year. If there is a good spot for him, and the right fight, then we can make one more run at it.
BT: He has had a lot of fights. He is a four-time world champion. By all reports, he has been very careful with his money. Some people might say, with the style he fights, he is risking injury, at this age and stage of his career.
SG: Believe me; it has to be the right fight. If there are any signs of it not looking like the right fight, or if he gets the fight and doesn’t handle it well, we’ll shut it down immediately. Sayonara. No more, it’ll be over. But he really feels that he didn’t give the best of what he has, in his last fight, and he wants to prepare properly and do it right and then see what happens.
BT: If you could lock up any fight for him, who would you like to see him in the ring with next?
SG: We’ll have to see what is available for him. We’ll look at what his next best move is and choose the best position for him. He really feels that he wasn’t at his best, in that last fight, and that he wasn’t himself. He was emotional after the fight and immediately said he wanted to retire but, after he got home and thought about it, and went through all the things in his mind, he realized he wasn’t at his best going into the fight. He just wants a chance to do it right and go out on his own terms.
BT: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all at Casa Gibbons.
SG: Thank you Billy, same to you and your family.