Orlando Salido is ready to steal the show(s) on December 9

Photo credit: German Villasenor


Orlando “Siri” Salido, 44-13-4 (31), has finally nailed down an opponent for his next bout and will battle Miguel “Mickey” Roman, 57-12 (44), on December 9 on HBO at the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino Events Center, in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Many fans hoped Salido would face former opponent and current pound-for-pound-rated WBO junior lightweight titlist Vasyl Lomachenko, who he defeated in March of 2014. Salido is the only fighter to beat Lomachenko and there has been a lot of interest in a rematch but the two fighters haven’t been able to lock up a return engagement just yet.


Ironically, the Salido-Roman bout will fall on the same night as Lomachenko’s next defense, on ESPN, against undefeated, former amateur star and WBA world junior featherweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux, in New York City, in the Theater, at Madison Square Garden.


Salido was scheduled to fight WBC junior lightweight beltholder Miguel Berchelt, a very tough fighter, who handed an upset loss to Francisco Vargas last January. However, Berchelt had to pull out of the bout, last week, due to an injury.


Don’t be surprised to see Salido in another exciting war against Roman. Siri’s go-for-broke style and incredible will to engage in the ring have seen him in several “Fight of the Year” candidates over the last few years, while garnering a huge and loyal following, among fight fans.


Some fans and observers might feel that, at 36, and with several wars under his belt, Salido has his best performances behind him.


Not so fast.


Salido is certainly taking his career on a fight-by-fight basis, at this stage, but he is a motivated fighter, who has been vastly underrated throughout his championship career.


He has seemingly been hearing for years that he is done and yet he continues to confound critics with his ability to pull off upsets and compete against the very best in the world.


Despite a long and gruelling career, Salido is a quiet family man, away from the ring, who takes very good care of himself and is well preserved for the rigors of his profession. But while Salido will be favored to beat Roman, he knows he is in with a very rough and rugged veteran, who has faced some of boxing’s best in his 69-bout career.


But, like all of his fights, Salido will prepare himself to do whatever it takes to beat Roman and continue with his career. In a recent interview, Siri also made it clear that, while there are more miles behind him than ahead, he isn’t quite ready to close the book on his championship career just yet.


“People know, when I step into the ring, they are going to see a real fight, a guy laying it all on the line. I go very hard in the ring. When people come see me fight, they are going to see a great fight,” said Salido.


While manager Sean Gibbons worked to secure a rematch with Vasyl Lomachenko, he couldn’t quite get the number he wanted for Salido and chose to look at other fights.


“Orlando will always have options because he is one of the last throwbacks in boxing. When people come see him fight, they are going to see a real fight, a warrior doing what he does best,” said Gibbons. “No posing, no dancing. He goes in there prepared to go to war every time and he brings excitement for the fans.”


While Gibbons made it clear that he respects the vast talent of both Lomachenko and Rigondeaux, he made no bones about what fight fans would tune into, if they want to see some real action on December 9.


“Look back and see what (Lomachenko promoter) Bob Arum (of Top Rank) said about trying to sell Rigondeaux. There is a reason Top Rank didn’t re-sign him when his contract ran out. He wasn’t exciting and they couldn’t sell him to the networks. He just wasn’t an exciting fighter. Do you think a network has ever put on Orlando Salido and worried about him NOT bringing excitement for the fans?” asked Gibbons.


If Salido and Lomachenko are both successful on December 9, there is no reason they couldn’t hook up for a rematch at some point in 2018. But, in the meantime, Salido is focused on who will be a very determined and motivated Miguel Roman in his upcoming bout.


“I love the training and getting prepared for bouts. I still have the fire and this is a great time in my career. I have no plans to retire right now and am focused on bringing excitement for the fans every time I step into the ring,” he said. “I am going to win my next bout on December 9 and then I will look to have more great fights in 2018. Every time I step into the ring, people will see a lot of action. That is how I fight.”




Questions and comments can be sent to Bill Tibbs at hwtibbs@shaw.ca and you can follow him at twitter.com/tibbs_bill.






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