Mikey Garcia was successful in his coming out party last night when he swiped the featherweight championship of the world away from veteran Mexican fighter Orlando Salido. The HBO Boxing After Dark main event of Garcia-Salido had been highly anticipated for months because the fight seemed so compelling on paper as well as the fact it was postponed in 2012, making it one of the best fights we didn’t get to see last year.
The big debate leading into this fight was would Garcia’s technique and power be enough or would Salido’s constant pressure and relentless determination win it for him. We got that answer from the opening bell as Garcia displayed high class boxing ability and sent Salido to the canvas not once, but twice in the first round with a right hand and then again with a left hook. Garcia maintained the rhythm and in the 3rd round he landed an uppercut he had been searching for throughout the round and it sent Salido to the mat once again.
Garcia fought a masterful game plan and every time Salido tried to get inside and make it his fight Garcia was able to hold or escape. Garcia recorded 4 knockdowns total and the final one came in the fourth off of a jab that caught Salido coming in, but he was able to beat the count.
Salido stayed in the fight and showed tremendous fortitude as he continued to press on. He even stole a round in the 7th when he began to find a possibly tired Garcia. That offense was brief as Garcia continued to make Salido fight his fight. In the 8th round Salido crashed into Garcia with a head butt that broke Garcia’s nose and the Doctor decided to stop the fight in between rounds. Some felt as though the head butt was intentional, however the official call was “accidental” head butt and it resulted in the ref deferring to the judges’ scorecards. The scores read: 79-70, 79-69 and 79-69; Thaboxingvoice.com scored the fight 79-69.
It was a defying type of fight for Garcia and he proved that he is an elite fighter destined for greater things to come. For now, Garcia will bask in the glory of capturing the WBO featherweight title and take the time to heal his broken nose.