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Bob Arum: Salido ‘chickened out’ of Lomachenko rematch

The Top Rank promoter accuses Orlando Salido of running out on a sequel with Vasyl Lomachenko.

Francisco Vargas v Orlando Salido Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

It doesn’t appear that Vasyl Lomachenko (7-1, 5 KOs) will get an opportunity to avenge his sole professional defeat against Orlando Salido (43-13-4, 30 KOs) in the near future. And if you ask Bob Arum, it’s because Salido backed out of negotiations, even after Arum agreed to his high purse demands.

“Orlando Salido chickened out,” Arum told on Tuesday. “It’s the only way to say it. He asked for crazy money. We agreed to the crazy money. And then he says, ‘No.’ He’d just as soon not take the fight. Why? Because he knows he can’t beat (Lomachenko). It was a fluke the first time. So, there’s no other way to paint it...”

Salido’s manager, Sean Gibbons, refutes Arum’s characterization by calling it “ludicrous” to even mention Salido’s name in the same sentence as the word “chicken.” According to Gibbons, it was merely a decision to give fans the kind of fights they want to see, and they’d much rather see Salido rematch Francisco Vargas than take on Lomachenko again.

“Orlando voiced to me, ‘Hey, why do I want to fight a guy in Lomachenko who I know is going to run, grab and hold when I can go Mexican-to-Mexican with Francisco Vargas and give the people what they really want see. The only guys who want to see Lomachenko — are Lomachenko.”

That’s obviously overselling it a bit, because there are plenty of fans who are drawn towards Lomachenko’s artistry in the ring. But he’s not wrong that fan-friendly actions fights are an easy sell. And while it’s understandable that Lomachenko would want to get that fight back, their first fight wasn’t exactly a thriller.

Now Top Rank will be looking for another potential opponent for Lomachenko, as the promotional company plans to have him back in the ring by March or April. Salido, meanwhile, appears to be willing to wait on the results of the upcoming Francisco Vargas vs Miguel Berchelt fight (Jan. 28) before settling on his next move.

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