Salido Eyes Move to 130, Bout with WBO Champ Martinez

Corey Erdman / January 22, 2013 - 5:32pm

Well, it’s not the most marketable of bouts to the television audience at the moment, but it appears former featherweight titleholder Orlando Salido is looking to move to 130 pounds in order to challenge WBO champion Rocky Martinez.

Salido informed of his plans:

“It was a bad night. I was surprised in the first round and I could not recover. When I finally found my pace and distance I started connecting with my shots much better and I felt that I was within two or three more rounds before a knockout [victory] – and then the head clash came and that was the fight. I feel that the best rounds for me were coming up. I showed that in the seventh round, but that’s boxing. I was well prepared but Garcia fought well and he was better than me that night,” said Salido.

“I talked to [manager] Sean Gibbons and my promoter Fernando Beltrñan [of Zanfer], after the fight. They told me that I have their support and if I wanted a rematch they would negotiate it – but I told them that I’d rather go up to 130 pounds and challenge the Puerto Rican Roman ‘Rocky ‘Martinez, who fought in the same card on Saturday. So if all goes well I will fight in Mexico in May, and then in September I will challenge Rocky ‘Martínez. I want to make a fight for ten rounds in May in Hermosillo and then get a title fight against Martinez,” Salido said.

Now, if you don’t like watching Salido fight, you have tastes that can be described anywhere from “refined” to “unusual.” The action that he provides inside the ring is consistently solid, and in no way the problem when it comes to marketing this fight.

The problem is that Salido is coming off a loss to Mikey Garcia in which he truly couldn’t have looked worse. The boxing hardcores who are already familiar with him are going to tune in to his fights no matter what. But the casual fans to which a network would have to sell such a fight have a very poor image of him at the moment.

Perhaps the larger issue though, is that Martinez is coming off an extremely questionable decision win over Juan Carlos Burgos on the very same card. In some cases, being handed a gift decision is even worse for a fighter’s public perception than taking a conclusive loss.

Martinez himself consistently finds himself in engaging battles, but even a good style matchup might not be enough for this to get picked up by HBO, whom Top Rank is almost exclusively dealing with at the moment. If such a fight materializes, don’t be shocked if it’s on Mexican television exclusively.

There is also the issue of whether Salido can make it to the proposed Martinez fight unscathed. “Siri” notoriously takes stay busy fights in between all of his major outings, but has been in serious peril in bouts with Weng Haya and Kenichi Yamaguchi recently.

He certainly isn’t one to take ultra-soft touches, but it might be advisable considering the punch resistance he showed against Garcia. It’s possible that he became old in the ring, something we see over and over again in this sport. Considering he’s been fighting professionally since he was 15 years old, it wouldn’t be shocking.

But that’s what makes Salido impossible to dislike. He’s in a high-risk scenario, and he’s going to take a tune-up, and then move up in weight after taking lumps at featherweight.

They don’t make ’em like him anymore.