Top Rank CEO Bob Arum said that a deal is in place for Mexican WBO featherweight Orlando Salido to defend his belt agaist Ukrainian Vasyl Lomachenko on the planned March 1 card at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, that is to feature a rematch between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. and super middleweight Bryan Vera.
A winner of his second Olympic gold medal at the 2012 Games in London, Lomachenko, 25, scored knockdowns with body shots in the first and fourth round of October’s fourth-round stoppage against Jose Luis Ramirez (25-4, 15 KOs) in a scheduled 10-rounder.
Lomachenko (1-0, 1 KO) hopes to dethrone Salido (40-12-2, 28 KOs), a well-traveled 33-year-old veteran who won the vacant belt by seventh-round knockout of Puerto Rican featherweight contender Orlando Cruz on the same card as Lomachenko-Ramirez.
“The fight that is done for March 1 is Salido and Lomanchenko for the WBO featherweight championship,” said Arum. “I am meeting with Chavez Jr. on Friday in Los Angeles, and I hope to wrap that up at that meeting, but it’s not done yet.”
Meanwhile, Vera, whose home state is Texas, lost a controversial 10-round unanimous decision to Chavez in Carson, Calif., in September.
That bout took place at a 173-pound catchweight because Chavez was not able to make the originally contracted weights. The return bout will happen at the super middleweight limit of 168, according to Arum.
The rematch was originally supposed to take place in February but Arum said the new date was chosen to avoid conflict with the Feb. 7-through- 23 Winter Olympics in Russia.
According to CompuBox, Vera had a 176-125 advantage in overall punches landed, as well as winning 109-98 in power shots compared to Chavez, who was awarded the decision by scores of 96-94, 97-93, and 98-92, by Carla Caiz, Marty Denkin and Gwen Adair, respectively.
Of a poll of 59 media members, 53 scored the bout in favor of Vera, with six draws. In its round-by-round, RingTV.com scored the fight for Vera, 97-93.
Photos by Jeff Bottari-Gettyimages