Return Engagement

By Ted Sares on March 10, 2012
Return Engagement
Orlando Salido finally ended matters at 0:32 of the 10th round (Peter Amador/Top Rank)

“We say hats off to both fighters for what they gave us tonight in San Juan. These men laid it all on the line, and both went for the win. They fought their hearts out, and reminded us of what can be so brutally beautiful about this sport, and why we tune in almost every week.”—Scott Christ

After an incredible ninth round in which both Juan Manuel Lopez and Orlando “Siri” Salido acquitted themselves like gallant warriors, Salido finally ended matters at Coliseo Roberto Clemente at 0:32 of the 10th round when he landed four of the most brutal and flush shots I have seen in many years to retain his WBO featherweight title. The crunching four-punch combination was punctuated by a vicious right uppercut that distorted Lopez’s features. It was reminiscent of George Foreman’s massacre of Gerry Cooney in 1990 when it seemed Cooney’s jaw was a magnet for each of Big George’s malefic shots.

When the gallant Lopez got up, he was totally gone. Fortunately referee Roberto Ramirez Sr. made the spot-on stoppage despite JuanMa’s delusional and classless protest, made all the worse by Jim Gray’s attempt to stir things up as is his wont. The referee in fact saved Lopez from likely permanent damage.

This was a great fight in which both men were down and in which the winner’s face looked like ground meat. But the underlying story is how two of the judges could possibly have had Lopez ahead at the time of the stoppage (the other had it a draw).The scoring was 86-84, 86-84, 85-85 for Lopez; I had it 88-83 for Salido. This time, controversy was prevented because the only judge that mattered was Orlando’s Salido’s right hand.

The 31-year-old champion, who has won four straight byTKO, improved to 38-11-2, while the former champion, 28-year-old Lopez, fell to 31-2. Lucrative options are now on the table for Salido (including a possible fight with streaking Miguel Angel “Mikey” Garcia), while Juan Manuel’s career is now in shambles. In fact, given the amount of punishment he took in this fight and during the many ring wars he has been in, he may well take on the persona of damaged goods.

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  1. bk don 07:04am, 03/14/2012

    I actually thought that Gray remained unbiased for one of the few times in his career. He didn’t seem to actively try to stir things up and actually gave JuanMa a chance to rephrase himself after his initial absurd comments. I agree about the judges being incompetent though. Those scorecards are a travesty to the sport and the men who risk their lives in it.

  2. MRBILL-HARDCORE XXX 07:07pm, 03/12/2012

    Texas - At age 31, Salido will need to make his money fast and soon.. 126 to 130 pounds is a tuff division to compete in after age 30…. WORD! Plus, Salido already has (11) losses on his record… GEEZUS! However, I like the vato…

  3. TEX HASSLER 05:15pm, 03/12/2012

    This is a good win for Salido. Maybe he can make some good pay days now.

  4. MRBILL-HARDCORE XXX 04:06pm, 03/12/2012

    How the hell is Juanma Lopez still rated # 9 on Boxing.Com’s P-4-P list on the main page? Let’s drop Lopez and move in Orlando Salido…

  5. MRBILL-HARDCORE XXX 04:01pm, 03/12/2012

    I know for sure that Vegas has been under fire since Roberto Duran lost a close shave to Hagler in 1983… Duran is my main man, but Hagler really retained his titles over Duran by a far wider margin then 1 or 2 points…

  6. Bodyshots 02:59pm, 03/12/2012

    actually, American fight-fans have been pissing and moanin about German and PR scorecards for a while. only now are they beginning to realize that the U.S.A. is no better.

  7. MRBILL-HARDCORE XXX 10:58am, 03/12/2012

    Well, folks love to whine and cry that New Jersey and Nevada often render insane scores from ringside, but Germany and Puerto Rico are equally guilty and corrupt as well… WORD!

  8. chillBOY_kimmy 03:00am, 03/12/2012

    ..salido is clearly winning the fight. . .i have no idea why those judges scoring it for juanma..fortunately salido was lucky he got it by knockout victory cause if it wasn’t like that..then it would have been a controversial victory for the hometown hero..and with this people would think boxing is a dirty sports..please next time judges try to be fair enough because people who were watching can really tell the obvious..

  9. MRBILL-HARDCORE XXX 07:02pm, 03/11/2012

    Okay, so since Dec. 2010, my top fights that I personally have liked and favor are as follows: “Hops-Pascal 1 & 2, Cotto-Mayo, V.K.-Adamek, V.K.-Chisora and the Salido-Lopez 1 & 2” fights…. WORD!

  10. the thresher 04:50pm, 03/11/2012

    MRBILL has the beat

  11. the thresher 04:49pm, 03/11/2012

    Bodyshots, I have to agree. JML is now damaged goods and is ripe for the taking. Ponce would send him to PR Dreamland.

  12. Bodyshots 04:39pm, 03/11/2012

    as anticipated, Salido had to score the KO to avoid being robbed by the scorecards, which has become a conspicuous and festering sore in Boxing’s profile. perhaps the most satisfying element of Salido’s win is that he foiled Arum’s “business” plan with the purest of boxing results: KO victory. now is a good time for Ponce De Leon to push for a rematch v. Lopez, which should include the condition that it must take place in PR. IMO, Ponce KO’s Lopez in a rematch IN Caguas or Rio Piedras, PR. i don’t think Ponce would mind going on a little business trip for redemption in sunny and hospitable PR.

  13. MRBILL-HARDCORE XXX 04:02pm, 03/11/2012

    Ted - Of course team Lopez will issue an apology from last nights rant by Juanma since Juanma could be held liable for slander / slanderosity when he went on the air and claimed the referee was a degenerate gambler and might’ve had money on Salido… Them are serious accusations… However, yes, Juanma Lopez will be forgiven cuz many of us know he was still groggy and not fully intact during that post fight interview with Jim Gray…

  14. MRBILL-HARDCORE XXX 03:55pm, 03/11/2012

    No need for a 3rd encounter since Salido is up 2-0 over Lopez with (2) KO’s. Both Juanma Lopez and Fraud Mayrunner are two of the biggest azzhole’s in boxing today. Now only if Cotto can somehow take apart Mayrunner in May, boxing will be in business and looking upward. It’s time to dump the trash… WORD!

  15. the thresher 03:07pm, 03/11/2012

    This just in:

    “For my part I apologize to Roberto (Ramirez) for comments I had made after the fight with Salido. Roberto is one of the best referees in the world, he did a great job, and I appreciate that I was protected because I was definitely hurt. Everyone knows how much I trained for this fight, all of the sacrifices that I made, because I wanted to give a big win to Puerto Rico and perhaps the frustration of failing in my country [caused the comments], and again I want to praise Roberto for his work. “

  16. the thresher 03:02pm, 03/11/2012

    “....attention whore…”

    I like that!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  17. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 01:15pm, 03/11/2012

    Gray’s got the Emmys but he’s also got an agenda and in my opinion it’s to make himself part of the story. He’s ballsy and got more nerve than a bad tooth (maybe a good thing for a journalist) but to me as a plain old fan he comes off as an attention whore. To me the post fight interview is not the story….the fight is. After a time just looking at some people will piss you off.

  18. the thresher 10:30am, 03/11/2012


  19. FrankinDallas 10:22am, 03/11/2012

    Ted, JuanMa’s team should not have let him do that interview. He was still on queer street, and I mean WAY down the block.

    I agree with you about the Gray/Rose thing….that was uncalled for.

  20. the thresher 09:51am, 03/11/2012

    Salido is all wrong for Juan and would beat him 5 out of 5.

  21. the thresher 09:50am, 03/11/2012

    Points taken FD, but JML was in no frame of mind for an interview at all. His brains had just been scrambled.

  22. the thresher 09:48am, 03/11/2012

    I will never forgive Jim Gray for dry gultching Pete Rose. Rose was down as low as a guy could get and Gray piled on. Anything for a story.

  23. FrankinDallas 09:46am, 03/11/2012

    I don’t agree with these comments about Jim Gray in this context. It was JuanMa that brought up the ref/gambling issue, not Gray, and he gave JuanMa a chance to retract his statement. You guys are blaming Gray for something that was totally JuanMa’s responsibility, and he (JuanMa) is now in a Victor Ortiz level of unreality.

  24. pugknows 09:42am, 03/11/2012

    Concise and lean. Great writing, Ted

  25. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 09:32am, 03/11/2012

    What else does Jim Gray do as a journalist in addition to conducting galling, grating and downright insulting (to both fighters and the public) post fight interviews? Showtime shows how little they respect those that pay the bills by foisting this snarky bugger on us!

  26. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 09:15am, 03/11/2012

    Just noticed under fight results that a female named “April” just fought a ten rounder… further comment needed.

  27. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo 08:50am, 03/11/2012

    God bless you, Juanma you’ve got a big heart but you’ve also got a big chin that hangs out there with a welcome sign on it. Salido has already said he’ll fight you again….so maybe when the hurt starts to go away you’ll realize that your post fight remarks were an insult to a fellow warrior who almost killed you twice and a shame to yourself.

  28. the thresher 08:17am, 03/11/2012

    Great post!

  29. jofre 07:39am, 03/11/2012

    It’s outstanding and exciting matchups like this that if done on a continuing basis would push boxing back to the mainstream and no longer play second fiddle to MMA. This was one of the more best fights I’ve seen in quite some time. Give me fights of this caliber and boxing will enjoy a resurgence. Both fighters showed amazing heart. The only negative was Lopez’ post fight interview. But I’ll give him a pass because he fought his heart out and emotions can run high after a devastating defeat. But kudos to both fighters for putting on a classic.

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