Orlando Salido Jumps on Upset Train, Derails Juan Manuel Lopez in Puerto Rico
How great is boxing this month? Seriously. Three weekends in a row we've seen Fight of the Year candidates, we've been treated to big upsets and stirring performances all month, and there's still a great card coming next weekend with the Showtime bantamweights. But let's get into why we're saying that now.
Tonight in Puerto Rico, Juan Manuel Lopez's luck ran out at the furious hands of Mexican rival Orlando Salido. Salido (35-11-2, 23 KO) stopped Lopez (30-1, 27 KO) in the eighth round of a terrific battle, finally becoming the fighter to not just hurt and knock down and rattle Lopez around the ring, but to force a referee's hand and earn a stoppage win. We've seen Lopez in trouble against Rogers Mtagwa and Bernabe Concepcion, hurt against Rafael Marquez, and now he just couldn't survive another determined fighter.
It's by far the biggest win in the career of the 30-year-old Salido, who outlanded, outworked, and just bombed out the Puerto Rican slugger tonight. Salido's right hand was deadly from all angles, as Lopez just could not stop it from landing. Whether it was a chopping right, a long overhand right, sweeping from the side, or straight down the pipe, Salido was landing it. He also made his left hook a weapon as the fight went along.
What also made a difference tonight was that Lopez just couldn't use his own power. His recuperative powers were there. He hung in hurt for a good while. But he couldn't get Salido to back off, couldn't really turn the tide on him. That made all the difference. Salido was not going to be denied.
As for the stoppage, it's going to be talked about. I thought the referee picked an odd moment to step in. A left hook from Salido had just landed, but Lopez was throwing back, and that's going to bother a lot of people. But at the same time, Lopez was staggering around the ring for that entire round. I think if anything letting him continue delayed the inevitable, but of course you never know. But me, I just don't see JuanMa getting out of that round tonight. He was taking too many big shots. At some point, the referee would have had to intervene, and it wasn't far off the way Salido was walking through him and battering him.
Hats off to Orlando Salido for this huge upset win tonight, continuing a killer month for the sweet science.
In the co-feature, Puerto Rican Luis Cruz stayed undefeated with an unanimous decision win over Martin Honorio on scores of 100-90, 98-92 and 96-94. The first two scores are said to have been very wide, and most early reports I've seen indicate that Honorio had at least an argument for winning the fight. Honorio falls to 29-6-1 (15 KO), while Cruz improves to 18-0 (14 KO).
ANOTHER UPSET! ORLANDO SALIDO GETS TKO WIN OVER JUAN MANUEL LOPEZ
The upset parade continues. Another underdog got it done, this time in the main event from Bayamon, Puerto Rico which ran on Showtime. Orlando Salido, a massive underdog brought in to give Juan Manuel Lopez some hard work, did more than that. He was in JuanMa's face ceaselessly, and after scoring a knockdown in the fifth, kept his foot on the gas. In the eighth, Lopez was eating on the ropes, but answering with some vigor. The ref, though, didn't like all the clean shots he was taking, and stopped the clash, at 1:39.
There will be those that will point to JuanMa's marital woes as a reason, or the reason, for this loss. I think it fair to focus much, much more on what Salido did do on this night, than on what may have sapped JuanMa mentally.
The Mexican took on Yuriorkis Gamboa last September, and sent the Cuban to the mat in round eight, but left with less dignity--his IBF feather belt was stripped because he gained more than ten pounds in between the weigh in and the clash--and another loss, his tenth. Based on record alone, you had to think the Mexican was in over his head. But he powered his way, mentally and physically, to a signature win, and props must be given. This victory goes a long way to erasing the lingering stain of his 2006 NC fight with Robert Guerrero, so designated because he tested postive for steroids after beating the Californian.
by Michael Woods
Salido defeats Lopez in shocking upset
BAYAMON, P.R. (April 17, 2011) – After thirty fights of stunning crowds with his ability to neglect defense and always come back to score the victory, Juan Manuel Lopez’ streak ended. Orlando Salido captured the World Boxing Organization (WBO) Featherweight Championship via eighth-round technical knockout (referee stoppage) after connecting with countless right hands including one that landed “JuanMa” on the canvas in the fifth round. In the co-featured bout, Luis Cruz claimed a unanimous decision over Martin Honorio with the scores of 100-90, 98-92 and 96-94 from Ruben Rodriguez Coliseo in Bayamon, Puerto Rico on SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING.
At first it seemed like nothing new for the 27-year-old, charismatic Puerto Rican.
After Lopez (30-1, 27 KOs) won the first several rounds, Salido (35-11-2, 23 KOs), of Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, roared back by coming forward, bringing pressure and landing his right hand to the hard head of Lopez. In a flurry of punches between both fighters in the fifth, Salido landed a solid left hook followed by a hellacious right that sent JuanMa to the ground. Visibly staggered, Lopez called upon his warrior determination to return to his feet before the ten count and endure the dwindling seconds of the round.
Admitting to the severity of the knockdown, Lopez simply stated after the fight, “The punch in the fifth round hurt.”
The lingering effects of Salido’s monstrous right hand pushed JuanMa into survival mode throughout the sixth as Salido looked to end the night, but Lopez was able to miraculously hang on. By the seventh, the 10,115 loyal fans in attendance were on their feet and screaming at the top of their lungs as they witnessed their champion come back to life with a another signature gutsy performance.
But then the storyline changed.
Instead of Lopez springing from his corner in the eighth to knockout his opponent, it was Salido who charged into the round with a renewed sense of urgency to end the fight. Although Lopez was able to sporadically retaliate, Salido was landing the much cleaner, harder shots and Lopez was once again wobbling around the ring. The wobbling and lack of punching efficiency proved to be too much for referee Roberto Ramirez Jr. as he stopped the slugfest at 1:39 of round eight.
The stoppage surprised – and angered – many in attendance, as the boos were following by flying beer and water bottles from the pro-Lopez crowd. Lopez echoed the crowd’s displeasure with the ref’s ruling. “Salido was hitting me but Ramirez Jr. shouldn’t have stopped the fight,” said Lopez. “I was still conscious.”
For safety purposes, Rodriguez was walked out of the arena by a team of police escorts.
Proudly hoisting up his belt after the fight, the new champion said, “I came very prepared to fight the No. 1 featherweight in the world. I think the fight was going pretty evenly through the first five rounds but I knew I had to pressure Lopez because we were in his hometown.”
After considering the bout’s thrilling nature and competitive spirit, promoter Bob Arum informed the media at the post-fight press conference that he fully planned to schedule a rematch between Lopez and Salido in the fall.
In the night’s opening attraction, the Puerto Rican rising prospect Cruz (18-0, 14 KOs), of Philadelphia by way of Las Piedras, Puerto Rico, made his case for contender status with a solid unanimous decision over Honorio (29-6-1, 15 KOs), of Mexico City. Although the fight was closer than the hometown scoring (110-90, 98-92, 96-94) from hometown judges (Raul Nieves, Nelson Vazquez, Carlos Colon) would indicate, Cruz silenced any critics pointing to a lack of quality opposition on his resume. Honorio, a late replacement for Roman “Rocky” Martinez who withdrew after suffering a lower back injury in training, has shared the ring with many former and current champions and owns a collection of upsets throughout his career.
The first round saw the two fighters feel each other out before each man found his rhythm, with Cruz scoring on big single shots and Honorio punching in volume to make his mark. In an action-packed sixth round, the two exchanged several power shots with Cruz landing big left hooks and uppercuts and Honorio scoring with the right hand.
As the 10-round junior lightweight clash settled back down, a sense of confidence and poise came over Cruz who proved to himself that he could handle prizefighting at the next level. Although the scores were more lopsided than some may have believed, Cruz earned a hard-fought unanimous decision in his coming-out party as a legitimate contender.
The doubleheader was promoted by Top Rank, Inc. The telecast will replay on Tuesday, April 19 at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT on SHOWTIME EXTREME and will be available On Demand from April 19 through May 2.
Gus Johnson called the action from ringside with Al Bernstein providing color commentary and Jim Gray serving as ringside reporter. David Dinkins Jr. is the Executive Producer of SHOWTIME Sports® with Chuck McKean producing and Bob Dunphy directing.
For information on SHOWTIME Sports Programming, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please go the new SHOWTIME Sports website at http://www.sho.com/sports.
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