WBO featherweight titleholder Orlando Salido recently reflected on his 10th-round knockout of former beltholder Juan Manuel Lopez on March 10 in this RingTV.com Q&A Orlando dethroned Lopez by eighth-round stoppage in their previous meeting in April.
The most recent triumph was the fourth straight by knockout for Salido (38-11-2, 26 knockouts), a 31-year-old Mexican veteran whose last loss was by unanimous decision to unbeaten Yuriorkis Gamboa in September of 2010.
Like the first time, Lopez (31-2, 28 KOs) lost to Salido in front of his partisan fans. April’s loss was at Coliseo Ruben Rodriguez, Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and the most recent, at Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan.
Salido rose after being floored in the fifth-round to score the final knockdown, and, ultimately, his second stoppage of Lopez, who was dropped by Salido in the fifth of their first fight. Lopez rose on unsteady legs from the knockdown in the most recent clash, but was deemed unfit to continue by Roberto Ramirez Sr., who waved an end to the fight.
While Lopez ponders his future, Salido looks to other opportunities, such as those opposite WBC counterpart Jhonny Gonzalez, ex-beltholders Rafael Marquez and Daniel Ponce De Leon, and unbeaten young prospect Mikey Garcia.
Salido spoke about the fight as well as his own future and that of Lopez in this Q&A.
RingTV.com: Was the fight what you expected it to be?
Orlando Salido: I knew that he was going to be the best fighter that he could be. I knew that he wanted to show everyone that my first win, in his mind, was a fluke.
So I was expecting it to be the sort of fight that it was, and I knew that it was going to be tough.
RingTV.com: Were you surprised at all that he was able to stand toe-to-toe with you and that he backed you up during the middle rounds?
OS: I think that in the first half of the fight, I hurt him enough to the body to slow him down enough to the point where he had no other options but to come at me and to do that kind of fight.
But I knew that I was going to be getting the better of him, no matter whether he was coming forward or going backward. I just knew that I would always get the better of him.
RingTV.com: Was your strategy to pick your spots and to land more shots than he did and to be more busier and more accurate?
But we were just prepared for it. We had great sparring and we had great mitts. We were trained for a very difficult fight. Whatever he decided to do, and whatever way he decided to fight, we were just ready for it.
RingTV.com: How did your eyes, your body and the areas where you absorbed the most punishment feel after the fight?
OS: Well, there were a lot of punches thrown, and of course, I got hit. I’m still a little sore. It was a great win. But yes, I’m a little sore. My eyes and my body are a little sore, but other than that, I feel great.
RingTV.com: What are your thoughts on the scorecards, which had you losing at the time of the stoppage?
OS: I was surprised to learn that I was behind on some of the cards, but I knew that this fight was going to be decided by a knockout. I knew that I could get get him, that’s why I pressured him in the last round.
I knew that I could knock him out. I always had it in the back of my mind to know that if it goes the distance, that because he was a local guy, I could lose. But I didn’t worry about that too much.
RingTV.com: Can you describe the finishing sequence of punches that led to the knockdown, and, ultimately, the stoppage?
The plan was to get all three of those punches in and it was a gameplan that worked perfectly. I haven’t seen the complete fight, and I’ve seen a little bit of the eight, ninth and 10th round.
RingTV.com: Do you believe that it was the first, second or third punch that was the actual knockout blow?
RingTV.com: What are your thoughts on Lopez’s post-fight comments and his perception that he was dominating the fight?
OS: I don’t know what he was doing in the ring, but I was in there with him, and I don’t know where he thought he was winning. He definitely didn’t win many of the rounds. Maybe he won the one where he knocked me down, but that’s about it.
RingTV.com: How much do you believe you took out of Lopez in the two fights, and what future do you think that he has in the ring?
OS: I don’t think that he’s done. I think that he’s a strong guy, and the he can put his punches together. This fight, I honestly thought could have gone either way. Coming into the fight, I knew that I was in for another tough fight. I certainly don’t think that he’s done — by a long shot.
RingTV.com: Who would you like to fight next — Mikey Garcia, Jhonny Gonzalez, Rafael Marquez, Daniel Ponce De Leon…?
OS: I think that Marquez would be a very, very interesting fight for me. He fought Lopez, and he claimed that he was hurt in that fight. But I would really like to get a shot at Marquez, and I think that would be a great fight for me.
RingTV.com: Can you talk about your apparent adversarial relationship with Marquez and the fact that you once sparred him?
OS: We really don’t know each other. I really don’t know him that well. We once got into the ring together when someone asked us if we would spar.
I believe that the last time we sparred was in May of 2010, and what I remember it being is that there were very competitive rounds. I don’t think that either one of us had the advantage or got the best of the other.
It was just very good work for both of us. But I think that it would be a great, competitive fight, between myself and Marquez.
I find him to be very strong, and I believe that he’s got a lot of experience and I think that he’s got a lot left. So I would really like to fight him.
Photo by Peter Amador, Top Rank Inc.
Photo by Chris Farina, Top Rank Inc.
Lem Satterfield can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org