For a stretch of time in the boxing world the buzz was concentrated on a Puerto Rican sensation that many believed had what it took to be something great. As of April 201, Juan Manuel Lopez stood undefeated with a record of 31 wins, zero losses and 28 wins by way of knockout. He brought hoards of people to Madison Square Garden, Boardwalk Hall, and the MGM Grand. This time he returned home to Puerto Rico. It would not be the homecoming “JuanMa” expected. Orlando Salido was the chosen opponent this time, but there was nothing about him that said “opponent” through out the fight. Salido beat Lopez, stopping him via TKO in the eight of a scheduled ten rounds.
Salido had long been in the minds of hardcore boxing fans, but for those that teeter on the brink of casual and knowledgeable this was his coming out party. Salido began his career seventeen years ago at the age of 15 in Mexico, his birthplace. He fought his first 18 fights in Mexico, six of them were losses. His record stands now at 39 wins, 11 losses and 2 draws with 27 wins via KO. After his six losses in Mexico, Salido has only lost to very formidable opponents the likes of Juan Manuel Marquez, Yuriorkis Gamboa, and Cristobal Cruz whom he later beat in a rematch, taking Cruz’s championship title.
After beating Juan Manuel Lopez the first time, Salido fought twice in his hometown of Obregon, Sonora, Mexico. Salido traveled to Puerto Rico once again and took on Juan Manuel Lopez for a second time. He stopped Lopez in the tenth round. While Lopez blamed the referee for being on the take and stopping the fight, Salido quietly sunk into the background and accepted the victory he knew he (and boxing fans) deserved. Salido is coming off of five wins in a row, all via TKO. A third round stoppage of Moises Gutierrez is his most recent addition to the list.
On January 19, 2013 he will step into the ring for the 54th time professionally. Once again, he is facing a younger, stronger, faster fighter in WBO featherweight champion Mikey Garcia. Garcia is undefeated, trained by his brother, well known trainer Robert Garcia. Many are picking him to be the next big thing. The two were slated to fight earlier in the year, but the fight had to be postponed due to an injury suffered by Salido. The fight is on, and with no bad news coming from either camp the boxing world is watching to see if Salido can defeat the prospect once again or if he is reaching the end of his career and a new face of the featherweight division will be forged.