In boxing, especially now, you rarely get to see a fight made that you want, get it immediately, and you just know it won’t disappoint. This weekend, live from the StubHub Center in Carson, California, HBO will be telecasting a Golden Boy Promotions event as Francisco “El Bandito” Vargas defends his WBC World Junior Lightweight belt against Orlando Salido.
The 31 year old, Mexican born, Francisco Vargas will be entering the ring with an undefeated record of 23-0 with 17 stoppages. This is his 1st fight since the dramatic stoppage of Takashi Miura, which was the co-main of the PPV fight between Miguel Cotto and Saul “Canelo” Alvarez back in November of last year. That was a grueling fight in which he was bloodied and knocked down early, but came back to stop Miura in round 9 while being down on the scorecards.
Besides the win against Miura to win his 1st career world title, Vargas has only 1 other significant win, which was against Juan Manuel Lopez, 2 years ago, when he stopped Lopez for the upset in round 3. For a guy that likes to fight everything 3-4 months, Vargas has only fought once in the last 14 months. Will the inactivity have an effect? One thing is for sure the man he will be facing is a man that is not only active in terms of taking fights, but also very active within the ring.
Orlando Salido is proof positive that a boxing record is more for the people who haven’t seen the fight. The 35 year old has 12 career losses to go with his 43 wins (30 by stoppage) and despite those losses, he is known as 1 of the top 10, if not top 5 junior lightweights in the world. Salido’s bully style in the ring is one that not only makes for great, exciting fights, but it also brings out the best in his opponents. If you accept a fight against Orlando Salido, you either fight or just walk away and tap out early.
Salido is a 10 year pro with lot of names on his resume that includes fights with Juan Manual Marquez, Robert Guerrero, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Mikey Garcia, and then 2 epic fights and rematches with Juan Manual Lopez and most recently with Roman Martinez. The bad part for Salido is he is 2-4-1 with a no contest in these 8 bouts, with both of his wins coming against Lopez. That leads some to believe that any time he has to step it up in competition, he gets out-boxed. That theory will be tested again on Saturday.
In this fight, you know how it’s going to play out and the only question is, “Who does their job better?” Salido is going to come forward hard and give his usual vicious body shots and be relentless the entire fight. Vargas will try to use his jab and when Salido tries to come in, he will use good combinations and hard hooks to try to slow him down. In the end, I think Vargas will box well enough to win a decision. Salido’s style is normally favorable to at least 1 judge, so my pick is Vargas by split decision.
For a year that has been pretty down for exciting boxing events, and sadly may continue that way, it’s nice to see a fight that more than a few people are excited for and you truly expect it to live up to expectations, this is one of those fights. To have 2 Mexicans that like to throw a lot of punches, are not great defensively, in a venue that seems to have boxing magic for great fights right now, there isn’t much more you can ask for. All that’s left to do is to sit back, relax, and enjoy the fight.