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Roman Conquest Over Salido; Siri Retires

Roman Retires Salido
Roman Retires Salido

By Derek Bonnett


Orlando Salido versus Miguel Roman pit two of the toughest hombres of Mexican birth against one another in a sure to be classic, 130-pound match-up with guaranteed Fight of the Year prospects. Rising from tough, cartel dominant environments in Ciudad Obregon and Ciudad Juarez, Salido and Roman earned reputations as durable veterans with power and skill, but an even greater will to throw a game plan out the window to let machismo determine the winner. This attitude has worked both for and against each Mexican pugilist and would be exercised against when the two squared off in a scheduled ten rounder at Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Salido, the betting favorite as the more established fighter, would be in deep against the younger fighter, who mirrored similar traits as "Siri".


War was inevitable, so the dancing and prancing was bypassed in exchange for a good feel-out round. However, in Mexico, "feeling out" means laying gloves on your opponent. The two would do until the final moments of the contest. Salido worked Roman’s body to begin breaking his man down. Roman established a long left hook from the outside. Salido, 37, wobbled Roman with a right hand, but the Mexican kept his footing and recovered as the round ended. Roman came out for round two looking to land his uppercut. Salido remained busier and Roman’s open defense made him more accurate. Roman tapped Salido’s body as well in a close fight. Both fighters came in close and mauled each other on the inside, tagging the body, arms, and head of their man. Likely up in the contest, Salido sat on his stool after the third with a discouraged look upon his face. Was he seeing something all too familiar in front of him already? Roman wasted no time in the fourth, dropping Salido with a right hand after a left and a body blow. Salido rose, but was unable to inflict the same damage in return. Both fighters had welts and swelling around their faces going into round five. Salido led with his cranium while Roman tried to land on the inside.


Salido received a warning for low blows in round six. Roman, 32, pressured Salido along the ropes and ripped the former world champion to the body and head in the seventh. In round eight, a fierce combination, left then right, dropped Siri for the second time of the bout. Roman followed up and Salido accepted the invitation to trade, but the elder Mexican could not reassert himself over Roman. Roman pummeled Salido along the ropes, landing well with his uppercut. Salido sunk to the canvas and Robert Byrd waived off the contest after the third knockdown.


Officially, the fight ended at 1:43 of round nine. Roman raised his ledger to 58-12-0 (45). The win marks the biggest of Roman’s career and certainly on his largest stage. Roman asked for HBO to bring him back to meet either champion at 126 or 130. Salido’s resume fell to 44-14-4 (31). The dramatic former world champion, who had been dropped over a dozen times in his last eight outings, decided to call an end to his career, citing age as a factor.


On the undercard, fellow Mexican drama-king, Francisco Vargas fought for the first time since losing his world championship to Miguel Berchelt in January. Vargas turned back the game effort of two-time world title challenger Stephen Smith. Vargas landed his right hand with regularity in a fight that did see numerous rough clashes of the heads on the inside. A combination of the two ripped Smith ear in a fashion more ghastly than the previous standard in Antonio Margarito’s stoppage of Sebastian Lujan some years ago. Vargas, 32, got back in the win column and ran his record to 24-1-2 (17) by technical decision after the injury sent the verdict to the judges. Smith, 32, fell to 25-4-0 (15).


American Tevin Farmer, 27, lost an unpopular split decision to Kenichi Ogawa of Japan. Fans felt Farmer walked away with a clear decision as he boxed more technically while Ogawa, 29, stalked him down. The judges favored the pressure fighter and awarded the vacant IBF super featherweight title to Ogawa by scores of 116-112, 115-113, and 112-116.


Francisco Vargas back with a win.
Francisco Vargas back with a win.
Kenichi Ogawa wins IBF title.
Kenichi Ogawa wins IBF title.

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