Well, fight fans, amidst all the disappointing news that boxing habitually has to offer, it looks like we'll get something to cheer about. So enjoy it! These moments come too few and far between. ESPN is now reporting that a fight between junior lightweights Orlando Salido (43-13-4, 30 KOs) and Takashi Miura (30-3-2, 23 KOs) has been finalized for Dec. 17 at The Forum in Inglewood, CA.
Both Salido and Miura have a serious penchant for action-packed fights, so I really can't see this fight going any other way. The only thing that could possibly elevate the fight is if it were held at the StubHub Center, which has become famous in recent years for hosting great action fights, but really this should be a great one no matter where it takes place.
Salido-Miura will headline this Dec. 17 card on HBO's Boxing After Dark, which sort of suggests what HBO has been saying about their willingness to pony-up for quality fights. Sure there were some other good fights that HBO presumably passed on, but you'll get no complaints from me on this one!
And speaking on the Salido-Miura fight, Golden Boy promoter Oscar De La Hoya had this to say:
"It's signed, sealed and delivered," De La Hoya said. "It's not complicated matchmaking, but it goes to show you that we at Golden Boy want to make the best fights. We want to go out with a bang to close the year. We're hopefully going to do a tripleheader on HBO. We're talking to [HBO Sports executive vice president] Peter Nelson about it, because we want to give the fans a special treat for the holidays."
I'll kindly gloss over some of the basura in that statement, but again, this is great matchmaking and really the only way to keep sustained interest in the sport, particularly among causal fans. And with respect to the other fights De La Hoya hopes to add to the card, he says he's talking to Nelson about adding Frankie Gomez, Joseph Diaz, and David Lemieux. But even if the undercard ends-up being underwhelming, the main event with Salido vs. Miura is enough for me to tune in.
"All I can say is that boxing fans and subscribers to HBO are the absolute winners here," said Sean Gibbons, Salido's manager. "Orlando Salido has already delivered one fight of the year candidate this year, and he is looking to close the year by delivering another one. We want to thank Peter Nelson for seeing and understanding this is a fight the fans want. It's a win-win for boxing and HBO."
And just to give everyone their proper thanks, we as fans sort of have Canelo Alvarez to thank for the recent string of good fights coming together. The fractured thumb he suffered in his win over Liam Smith, which forced him off a scheduled December HBO date, opened up roughly $4 million in HBO's budget for this year. With that windfall HBO had the funds to make this Salido-Miura fight, Vasyl Lomachenko vs. Nicholas Walters, and Gennady Golovkin vs. Daniel Jacobs (should those negotiations be finalized).
So thank you, Canelo! The only way I can truly express my gratitude, particularly for the upcoming holiday season, is through song and dance. Enjoy.