Salido And Lopez Go To War In Return - Could We See A Third Fight?

By James Slater: Forget for a minute who won the fight that contested the WBO featherweight title last night in Puerto Rico. Both Orlando Salido and Juan Manuel Lopez deserve an absolute ton of credit for giving us a classic war that will surely be right at the front of the line when this year’s FOTY awards get chosen.

Both men, in one of the most savage, give-and-take Mexico Vs. Puerto Rico rivalries ever seen, were willing to give their all - and so they did. After a relatively quiet start, the battle commenced in the 5th-round. After having been hurt and visibly wobbled by right hands to the jaw, “Juanma” came back with a scorching, perfectly timed right hand of his own, dropping Salido heavily.

The hostilities raged on, and the 8th and 9th-rounds were truly mesmerising; with commentator Bob Sheridan bellowing into his microphone during the 9th that “this is probably the round of the year!” Maybe it was. The two warriors forgot all about tactics in the 8th and 9th and just pounded away, showing sheer bite-down guts and courage. How much more could either man, as tired and marked up as they both were, possibly take?

We got our answer in violent fashion in the opening seconds of the 10th. A wicked four-punch combination to the head sent the southpaw former champ down in a sickening fashion, the Puerto Rican star’s senses utterly scrambled. Somehow beating the count, Lopez was on unsteady legs (an understatement) and the ref wisely waved the war off. Amazingly, Lopez contested the stoppage, even trying to get to the referee, Roberto Ramirez!

So what now? Lopez, despite having lost for a second time, remains one of the most exciting fighters in the world; arguably THE most exciting fighter today. Simply put, you cannot afford to blink when “Juanma” fights. Salido, too, is value for money all the way and his next fight will be a big attraction. Will it be a third clash with Lopez?

Speaking post-fight, “Siri” said he is open to a third rumble with the warrior he has now stopped twice, and Lopez certainly wants a third fight. In light of last night’s terrific action, the fans will sure want to see it again. It’s tough to make a case for Lopez ever being able to defeat Salido (a man who holds one of the most deceiving pro records in boxing today at 38-11-2(26), yet it’s almost as hard to say no to a third fight. Who wouldn’t want to see such great action again?

Lopez is actually claiming that the referee’s stoppage was not only premature (it wasn’t), but that it was due to a gambling problem on the part of the referee (as reported by Even such a claim, as crazy as it surely is, cannot spoil last night’s great, great fight.

Inside the ring, these two men gave a graphic display that reminded us all what is so great about boxing.

Article posted on 11.03.2012

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