Orlando Salido KOs Juan Manuel Lopez in Early Fight of the Year Candidate
Definitely a fight of the year candidate.
Salido had come to Puerto Rico before and taken Lopez’s title in a huge upset since Lopez was undefeated at the time and consider to be on the fridge of superstardom.
Lopez made a ton of excuse of why he lost the fight, the main being the divorce he was going through and the fact his wife couldn’t cook for him.
Seemed like a flimsy excuse and he never gave Salido the credit he deserved. With his now ex wife back cooking his meals Lopez promised to be a different and better boxer in the rematch. To Salido’s credit he went back to Puerto Rico even though he was the champ and that was a risky decision as you will see later in the piece.
Lopez started off trying to box, but it didn’t matter because his defense was so poor that Salido just stalked him and beat him to the punch in the early rounds.
Salido was at the end of a dominant 5th round, when he made a mistake and Lopez caught him with a short right hand that stunned him and put him on the canvas.
Salido was a little shaky, but it was the end of the round so he survived. I believe at that point Lopez decided to stop trying to box and was going for the knock out.
That is when the action picked up and while Lopez became more aggressive, he began to take clean hard punches from Salido. No one can question Lopez’s heart because between the 5th and 8th rounds he took some bombs that would have knocked out many fighters.
By the 9th round Lopez had to be feeling like he was losing the fight (more on that later) and he went all in. In a round of the year candidate he and Salido threw bombs for three straight minutes.
As usual Salido got the better of the exchanges, but both of his eyes were swelling. I was beginning to wonder if he could make it through three more rounds before the doctors might stop the fight.
Salido must have been worried about this as well because he came out in the 10th round and closed the deal. Lopez had no bullets left in the chamber and Salido hit him with a huge right hand followed by two crushing uppercuts. Another straight right hand sent him to the canvas doing the Zab Judah walk.
The ref gave him a few seconds to get himself together before calling for the stoppage. Could Lopez had went on? Maybe, but it was more likely he was going to get seriously hurt if he continued.
Since this is boxing nothing is simple.
Amazingly two judges had Lopez ahead at the time of the KO and one judge had it a draw. That is a joke. Even the round that Salido was knocked down he was winning easily. I could only find two other rounds Lopez might had won. So, best case scenario Salido should have been up by 3 points and I am being kind to Lopez. Those fight card were atrocious.
I am not a big on punch stats, but besides the fact Salido out landed Lopez 2 to 1, he connected with the harder cleaner shots.
Every worse than the scorecards was Lopez excuse after the fight.
Lopez thought he was dominating the fight. He even dropped this beauty of a line.
“I was dominating the fight. It was a tough fight but I felt I was dominating.
“He was outpunching me 2-1 but I was dominating.”
Lopez accused the ref of having a gambling problem and that is why he didn’t allow him to continue to the fight. I have seen 1000s of fights in my day and seen a lot of bad refs, but for the most part this ref was fine. If anything he was warning Salido more than Lopez for questionable blows.
Here is a suggestion for Lopez.
You don’t want the ref to be involved in your fight? Don’t get knocked out on CLEAN PUNCHES. Lopez needs to take a long rest, get a new trainer and learn to not make excuses for his failures.