Orlando Salido and Vasyl Lomachenko will meet for the WBO featherweight title on Saturday night, in what could be the showstealer on HBO's doubleheader, also featuring a main event rematch between Julio Cesar Chavez Jr and Bryan Vera.
Salido (40-12-2, 28 KO) is the betting underdog in the fight, even though Lomachenko (1-0, 1 KO) is in just his second pro bout, and taking a massive step up in competition against the rugged veteran, a two-time featherweight titlist who has hung tough with the likes of Mikey Garcia and Yuriorkis Gamboa in recent years, even though he lost both fights. Salido also has two wins over Juan Manuel Lopez, and most recently, outclassed Orlando Cruz to win his second WBO title at 126 pounds.
But the 33-year-old Mexican fighter isn't bothered by being the underdog against the two-time Olympic gold medalist and blue chip prospect, saying it's pretty much par for the course for his career:
"I have been an underdog all my professional career and this fight is no different. I come to fight and do the best I can. I don't pick my opponents and never have. I know why Lomachenko is getting this opportunity. He was one of the best amateur boxers and has two gold medals. I came up the hard way and I worked for everything I have. ... He does have skills. He has fast hands, moves well in the ring, but we will see if he can take my pressure and constant work rate."
Will Lomachenko find himself in over his head against a battle-tested warrior-type opponent on Saturday night, or are his skills advanced to a level we haven't seen in some time coming out of the amateurs? Will he make history, or has he been thrown to the wolves too soon?