Featherweight Orlando Salido suffered a broken right orbital bone during Saturday night’s HBO-televised eighth-round unanimous technical decision loss to unbeaten featherweight Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia that dethroned him as WBO beltholder, and will have the injury examined “this week,” according to his manager, Sean Gibbons.
The 32-year-old Salido (39-11-2, 27 knockouts) was dropped four times in the first four rounds by Garcia (30-0, 26 KOs), who ended the loser’s streak of five consecutive stoppage wins, two of which were in the eighth and 10th rounds over ex-titleholder Juan Manuel Lopez in the latter’s native Puerto Rico.
“I took him to the hospital afterward as a precaution, Roosevelt Hospital. The ran a CAT Scan on his head, and he was diagnosed with a contusion on the area where your eye and your nose meet. That’s where he had a broken bone there in the orbital socket,” said Gibbons of Salido.
“There was nothing that they could do right there. They suggested that we went back to Mexico to see an ear, nose and throat specialist and have them look at it. It’s kind of an injury that will fix itself. We’re going to have it looked at this sometime this week to determine the extent of the damage.”
Garcia-Salido went to the scorecards after an accidental clash of heads in the eighth round resulted in a broken nose for Garcia, a 25-year-old Oxnard, Calif. native, who won the WBO belt as well as the vacant RING magazine title in victory.
Judges Don Ackerman, Julie Lederman and John Stewart scored it 79-70 and 79-69 (twice) for Garcia. Salido, who sported a badly bruised right eye, slipped to 39-12-2 with 27 knockouts.
Gibbons and the fighter were disappointed with the way the bout ended for Salido, who entered the clash with a 16-2 mark and one no-contest in his previous 19 fights.
“When you start something and you don’t get a chance to finish it, then you have a lot of ‘what if’s’ on your mind. Orlando told me after the fight. He said, ‘yeah, I walked out, I got caught cold, and I wasn’t expecting the shot. So it took me four or five rounds.’ He said, ‘It was very difficult for me to get inside, but I got inside in the sixth, and I had figured Mikey out.’ He said, ‘I had a third of the fight left.’ I had four rounds. I had a bad start, but that last four rounds was going to be all about me.’ If you noticed, Mikey had slowed drastically in the seventh and eighth,” said Salido.
“His feet weren’t moving like they were. It’s a shame, because he would have gone out a hero over those last four rounds. He had already showed balls to the floor by getting up off of the canvas. It was a matter of Mikey having a quicker start than he thought, and it was difficult to come back from that type of start. But he was absolutely starting to touch Mikey and starting to close the gap. So in Orlando’s mind, he doesn’t feel like that’s the way that a champion wins a title, and that’s not the way that he should lose the title. We’ve been at the thrill of victory, and we’ve been at the agony of defeat in New York.”
Gibbons said Salido would welcome a return bout with Garcia, although there was no rematch clause in their contracts.
“We would absolutely welcome a rematch and we would love closure, considering those last four rounds. But we’re not going to sit around and cry over the stoppage and moan and groan,” said Gibbons, who would like Salido’s next fight to take place in Hermosillo, Mex.
“If someone calls and says, ‘Let’s do Mikey,’ then we’re there. But at the moment, we’re going to look to heal up. He’s got tremendous support in Senora, Mex., and they want to showcase him at home in a fight in May, and then, we’re open for everybody again at 126 and at 130.”
Gibbons said that a potential opponent for Salido, likely in September, could be Puerto Rican junior lightweight Roman “Rocky” Martinez (26-1-2, 16 KOs), who is coming off Saturday’s disputed split-draw with Mexico’s Juan Carlos Burgos (30-1-1, 20 KOs) that occured on the Garcia-Salido undercard.