Record: 44-13-4 (31 KO) ... Streak: W1 ... Last 5: 2-1-2 ... Last 10: 6-2-2 ... Stance: Orthodox ... Height/Reach: 5'6" / 67" ... Age: 37
Thoughts: Someday, Orlando Salido will be all but forgotten. This is not a fighter who is going to reaches out to future generations, he’s not headed to the Hall of Fame, he isn’t/wasn’t truly elite. His accomplishments and his career will fade away as new fighters come along. There have been many Salidos throughout boxing history.
But Salido is the type of fighter that people who watched him will remember and talk about for a long time. “Remember Orlando Salido? Hell of a fighter.” And youngsters will look at his record and wonder if he was so great, why did he lose so much? Why didn’t he have a sparkling record?
There’s a lot to be said for actually experiencing someone’s career, because I’m going to talk about Orlando Salido in my coming decades a lot more than I will a lot of better fighters. Because not only is he really good, but he’s been a true warrior in his career. The fact he’s still a top contender at age 37, 13 years after his loss to Juan Manuel Marquez in his first world title shot, says plenty.
Salido won his last fight, back in May in Mexico against Aristedes Perez, and was 0-1-2 in his previous three, all terrific fights, two against Rocky Martinez and one with Francisco Vargas. He remains a reliably entertaining TV fighter and someone who can hang with the division’s best. Until someone proves otherwise, he is a threat at 130.
Record: 57-12 (44 KO) ... Streak: W1 ... Last 5: 4-1 ... Last 10: 9-1 ... Stance: Orthodox ... Height/Reach: 5'5" / N/A ... Age: 32
Thoughts: A rugged battler, Roman had won 18 straight fights between 2013 and 2016 before making his way to HBO in January, where he faced former titleholder Takashi Miura. I feel as though that fight may be misremembered just a bit.
Yes, Miura won. He knocked out Roman 53 seconds into the 12th and final round. Roman was down in the 10th, 11th, and 12th rounds. And Miura led on all three scorecards at the time of the KO — 106-101, 105-102, and 104-103. I had it 106-101 for Miura, too.
But Roman was there. He made a war of it. He was beaten down in the end, but it took a lot to get there. The 10th round body shot knockdown in particular should have ended the fight. Somehow, Roman went to the reserves and made it back to his feet. That was amazing in and of itself. Both fighters absorbed inhumane amounts of punishment. Mickey Roman proved more than enough that he can and will fight at a high level.
Is he good enough to beat Salido? Maybe not. Is he good and tough enough to make a fight of it? Absolutely.
Matchup Grade: B. How many times are you going to see an HBO main event between fighters with 25 pro losses, split evenly? (Or, for that matter, a combined 101 wins in the modern era?) But this isn’t junk. Forget the records. Most likely, Salido is too good for Roman. But — and this is a big but — Salido has a habit of mixing it up, Roman loves to do the same, and anything can happen when the punches start flying. Think of Salido’s fight with Terdsak Kokietgym in 2014, with seven knockdowns. Salido’s a better fighter than Terdsak, but it was a war. This matchup has the ingredients to be something of that nature, and, well, Salido is a 37-year-old super featherweight now. Time is going to catch up sooner than later.
- Tevin Farmer vs Kenichi Ogawa: Farmer (25-4-1, 5 KO) and Ogawa (22-1, 17 KO) are fighting for the vacant IBF 130-pound title, most recently held by Gervonta Davis, who vacated after missing weight in August. The 27-year-old Farmer, a Philly fighter, is better than his record, or at least that’s been the sales job on him by his team the last few years. And no doubt, he’s on a run: he’s won 18 in a row since 2013, after starting his career just 7-4-1. His record tells the truth in the sense that he’s not a puncher, though. He’s a crafty guy who gets the job done. Ogawa, 29, won the Japanese super featherweight title in 2015 and defended it until this year, vacating to go after this opportunity. He had some close calls and mostly competitive fights during his reign. It’s good to see both guys get a shot on an HBO card. Grade: B-
- Francisco Vargas vs Stephen Smith: Vargas (23-1-2, 17 KO) is not in bad fights. That’s the good news. The bad news, if you’re Vargas or a Vargas fan, is that might be catching up to him. He was knocked out in the 11th round last time out against Miguel Berchelt, and he’s looking to bounce back from that. Smith (25-3, 15 KO) is no world-beater, but he’s a solid fighter and a legitimate fringe contender at 130. His last two losses have been in world title fights to Jose Pedraza and Jason Sosa, and his first came in 2011 at featherweight against Lee Selby, now a world champion himself. Vargas won’t be able to just get by here. Smith’s good enough to make him have to earn it, and we’ll get a real look at what Vargas has coming off of the loss and the 10-month layoff. Plus, it’s Vargas, so it should have action either way. Matchup Grade: B-