An upset-minded Orlando Salido recently arrived to Puerto Rico, where he will challenge featherweight titleholder Juan Manuel Lopez at Ruben Rodriguez Coliseo in Bayamon on Saturday.
The undefeated Puerto Rican star is heavily favored to beat the former belt holder from Mexico, but a confident Salido told the local media that he plans to win Saturday’s Showtime-televised fight.
“I have everything to gain and nothing to lose, all the pressure is on him,” Salido told the press at a media workout in Guaynabo on Tuesday. “He is the champion. He’s fighting at home and everyone expects him to win. Let’s see if he can deliver. I did not come all this way to lay down for him.”
Salido (34-11-2, 22 knockouts) is coming off a unanimous decision loss to Yuriorkis Gamboa last September. The Mexican veteran was outclassed and dropped twice in the final round, but he also managed to knockdown the respected ultra-talent from Cuba.
Fans are clamoring for a showdown between Lopez and Gamboa, which would give the sport a true featherweight champ. Salido already views Lopez as the top 126-pounder, although he plans to dethrone the Puerto Rican by taking him into the late rounds of what he expects to be a battle of attrition.
“I do believe that he is the best featherweight in the world and a great champion, but he also likes to fight and that will be to my advantage,” he said. “We both have power and will test each other all night.
“I know it will be a war and that it will be tough for both us. I know ‘Juanma’ comes with everything in the first few rounds and I will have to be smart and stay focused at all times. I believe that the longer the fight goes it will be to my advantage. I know that he is not the same fighter in the end that he is in the beginning.”
Photo by PR Best Boxing Promotions / JOSÉ PÉREZ. Video Credit: PR Best Boxing Promotions / JOEL COLÓN