SALIDO-LOPEZ WAS EPIC!
I’m going to start off saying, man what a fight!! That 9th round was epic. I couldn’t sit down. That is what Mexico vs Puerto Rico is all about: two men taking an enormous amount of punishment and putting everything on the line to be Champion.
The one thing I want to ask you is about the featherweight rankings. Does this win merit Orlando Salido to be moved up to the number 2 slot? Because let’s face it, Chris John has not been fight top level competition since ever, except of course Juan Manuel Marquez but I’m not going to get into that. But back to the point John hardly ever leaves his country and is always fighting subpar competition. Do you think Salido should be rated two or is John going to hang on to his spot until he loses. – Israel Gomez
I think it’s up for debate. One can certainly make an argument for Salido advancing to the No. 2 spot. The Mexican veteran is more active than John and I believe (as you do) that he’s had a tougher schedule than the unbeaten Indonesian boxer.
Salido has fought 13 times since his infamous No Contest with Robert Guerrero in November of 2006, going 11-2 during a stretch in which he split IBF title bouts with Cristobal Cruz, suffered a spirited unanimous decision loss to Yuriorkis Gamboa and scored two thrilling stoppages of Lopez. Between the high-profile wins and losses, he beat some tough fringe contenders such as Hector Avila (TKO 6), Renan Acosta (TKO 4) and Kenichi Yamaguchi (TKO 11).
However, I’m not buying your smear campaign against John, who DOES leave his native Indonesia (he won his WBA belt in Japan and has defended it in Japan, Australia and the U.S.). And while John’s opposition hasn’t been as good as Salido’s, he’s faced solid competition in recent years. John has gone 9-0-1 since around the time that Salido fought Guerrero, and during that period he scored one-sided unanimous decisions over Acosta and unbeaten (27-0-2) Hiroyuki Enoki (in Tokyo), twice defended his belt against a motivated and still-serviceable Rocky Juarez (a draw in the U.S. Olympian’s hometown of Houston and a competitive decision win in Vegas) and a UD over once-beaten countryman Daud Yordan.
I’m a “quality of opposition” guy. If a fighter takes on badasses, I give him his props and I don’t care so much about losses provided he put up a good fight (and Salido always does that). So I lean toward moving Salido up a notch in the magazine’s 126-pound ratings. However, I won’t argue with any member of THE RING ratings panel who pushes for John to hold onto that No. 2 spot. There’s something to be said about consistency. John has defended that WBA title 14 times, and although I thought (like most observers) that Marquez beat him, the stick-and-move specialist was competitive with the future hall of famer and he’s currently unbeaten in 48 pro bouts. That’s impressive.
But not as impressive as that ninth round of the Salido-Lopez fight. Holy s__t! I couldn’t believe what I was watching. I thought the eighth round, which was terrific, was Lopez’s last stand. He pressed the action from start to finish and still got the worst of it from Salido. I figured he was gassed and too beat up to give us another hardcore round, but then the Boricua went toe-to-toe with a superior fighter who happens to be more durable than he is. A lot of punishment was dished out in that round. I gave it to Salido, but I take my hat off to Lopez, who attacked the body like an honorary Mexican.
YOU GOTTA LOVE ORLANDO
What’s up Dougie,
What a fight! Orlando Salidowent into La Isla Bonita and did what he had to do, win by KO. How he was down on the cards is beyond me, but it didn’t matter. I didn’t expect him to win by decision. JuanMa was crowning himself as the next Boricua superstar and got humbled…again. You gotta love Orlando, he’s a fight fan’s fighter who came up through the ranks the hard way. Yeah, he has 11 losses but he’s one of the big dogs at featherweight now. If Yuriorkis Gamboa doesn’t want to fight Rios at 135 he should fight Salido at 126. I don’t think Mikey Garcia is ready for either one of them. What do you think, Dougie? – Miguel, LBC
Salido is indeed a fight fan’s fighter. Even purists who love slick technique should appreciate his aggressive style because he’s a very savvy veteran with underrated skill and defense (upper-body movement and blocking ability). I think Salido can beat any elite featherweight on a good night, including Gamboa and John. However, I believe Garcia has the youth, style, technique and temperament to defeat “Siri.” It’s a very dangerous fight, but I don’t think it’s beyond Garcia’s ability.
If Gamboa abandons his goal of fighting in the higher weigh classes (and works out his issues with Top Rank), I wouldn’t mind seeing a rematch with Salido at featherweight. Saldio, who trained with Daniel Zaragoza in Mexico City for the Gamboa fight, says he was not at his best the night he fought the Cuban. I believe him.
I understand that the partisan crowd can influence things a lot, as I’ve been at live fights that seemed a lot different when I was watching the tape – but I’m not a professional judge. There’s no way anyone who has one ounce of knowledge could really think that Lopez was winning the fight going into the tenth.
It was a great fight and I don’t want to turn a positive for boxing into a negative but seeing those scorecards and the scoring after the Cloud-Campillo fight, I think THE RING has to keep asking questions about judges. Any thoughts?
(PS – Call me crazy but I think Ricky Burns who easily handled Paulus Moses, who was ranked above him by The Ring, on Saturday could give Guerrero and Rios a tough night.) – AC
I agree that Burns can give Rios, Guerrero or any other elite 135 pounder on the planet a tough night. I had no doubt that the Scotsman would defend his WBO belt on Saturday, and now he’ll take Moses’ place in THE RING’s lightweight ratings.
My only thoughts on the official Salido-Lopez scorecards is that I expected the judges, no matter where they were from, to have the Puerto Rican ahead whenever the fight happened to end (which is sad) and that these three guys need to be named on public forums and watched closely. Michael Pernick (a veteran judge) and Cesar Ramos, who had Lopez up by two points, and Denis Nelson, who had it even, should know that the boxing world has its eye on them.
When they pull questionable s__t again, we all – not just THE RING, but everyone who loves boxing (and thanks to the internet and social media, we all have a voice) – need to cry foul. If enough noise is made, the commissions will have to take some kind of disciplinary action (as the New Jersey commission did by suspending the three blind mice who scored the Paul Williams-Erislandy Lara bout). If these fools – who are killing the sport – know that their actions can result in less assignments, they may think twice before bending over backwards for the house promoters or hometown heroes again.