Salido Edges Lomachenko

By Ted Sares on March 2, 2014
Salido Edges Lomachenko
Had the fight gone another minute, history would have been made. (Chris Farina/Top Rank)

Lomachenko failed to make history by winning a world title in only his second pro fight as he lost a split decision to Orlando Salido…

“I don’t want to say anything about the judges. I’m a fighter, and my job is to fight…I’m a straight fighter. I’m clean. I would never fight dirty and throw punches below the belt. I have no excuses. He didn’t make weight, but I thought I could still beat him.”—Vasyl Lomachenko

“I was hurt very badly in the 12th round… He caught me with a very bad body shot. It was a matter of survival. It was preparation that got me through the round. I made sure he didn’t land a liver punch.”—Orlando Salido

When was the last time you watched a professional fight where the favorite’s record was 1-0? March 1 you say? However, Vasyl Lomachenko (1-0) failed to make boxing history tonight in San Antonio by winning a world title in only his second professional fight as he lost a split decision against gritty and savvy Orlando “Siri” Salido (41-12-2). The record, by the way, was set by Thailand’s Saensak Muangsurin, who won a junior welterweight world title in just his third professional bout in 1975 against Spaniard Perico Fernandez.

After dominating and stopping a less-than-rugged featherweight contender Jose Ramirez in his pro debut, Vasyl Lomachenko failed to get the right kind of separation in the early rounds against Salido and allowed the rugged Mexican veteran to open an early lead with a solid body attack—accompanied by too much inexplicable holding from Lomachenko. Salido’s attack included a large number of obvious low blows that were either ignored or missed by referee Laurence Cole who turned in a particularly egregious performance.

Salido, after recent title winning efforts against Juan Manuel Lopez and Orlando Cruz, proved that no amateur background can compare to the hard lessons he learned in the professional ranks. Still, by coming in as a welterweight and well over the lightweight limit, Siri gained a distinct advantage as Lomachenko’s blows seemed to have less impact until round 11 when he finally got his mojo working.

Lomachenko, who was 396-1 as an amateur, hurt Salido with a straight left in the 12th and then went after him with a vicious body attack that had him on the verge but time ran out. Had the fight gone another minute, history would have been made in Texas tonight. In this connection, a case can be made that the 12th stanza could be scored as a 10-8 round. A case also could be made that Salido should have been deducted a point for his low blows.

Instead, two judges (Jack Reiss and Oren Shellenberger) had it for Salido, 116-112 and 115-113, while the third (Levi Martinez) had it for Lomachenko 115-113. I had it 116-114 for Lomachenko.

Ted Sares is a private investor who enjoys writing about boxing. A member of the Elite Powerlifting Federation, Ted is one of the oldest active competitors in the world and holds several state records.

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  1. Tex Hassler 02:15pm, 03/04/2014

    I watched the fight and was glad Salido got the win. Lamchencko was gracious in his loss and did not make excuses. If Lamchencko had about 20 or 30 pro fights before Salido he would have won. He hopefully made a good pay check and gained valuable experience. We will see him again soon. Great article Mr. Sares.

  2. tuxtucis 12:37am, 03/04/2014

    I saw the fight: even without knockdown lat round was clearly a 10-8 for Lomachenko; add that 2-3 rounds can be given to Salido only for aggression and not for clean punches…it would have been better a draw…although deceiving Lomachenko did not deserve to have this stain in his record…

  3. EZ E 04:35pm, 03/03/2014

    PETE THE SNEAK (or Sneaky Pete?? LOL) Gracias amigo.

  4. Pete The Sneak 11:08am, 03/03/2014

    EZ E…man, that’s an absolute great analogy/breakdown of both fighters and what each brought to the table…and yes, you are spot on in regards to your following quote:

    ‘‘Although Lomo didn’t win I STILL consider him a WINNER if we objectively consider that Salido entered the ring a top 5 featherweight in everyone’s rankings and barely won, this being Lomo’a 2nd pro fight, NEVER going more than 5 rounds ever and NEVER against a fighter of Salido’s grit and caliber. And… PROPS TO SALIDO!! Once again proving many experts wrong.”

    Nuff said sir!...Peace…

  5. Ted 10:32am, 03/03/2014

    The fact this fight was not cancelled is a good indicator of what is wrong with boxing in 2014.

  6. EZ E 06:42am, 03/03/2014

    PETE THE SNEAK I agree. In all honesty, there are A LOT of elite fighters out there that would’ve been moaning, griping, crying, complaining and b*tching under similar circumstances. Lomo showed class & gets my props as well..

    In my years I’ve seen many highly touted amateurs fall short so I wasn’t completely sold on Lomo nor his chances of winning, BUT.. I have to admit that he did surprise me quite a bit!! He has great potential. Salido, although not considered an elite champion and who’s reign probably won’t be a long one, basically loses only to the best. Although Lomo didn’t win I STILL consider him a WINNER if we objectively consider that Salido entered the ring a top 5 featherweight in everyone’s rankings and barely won, this being Lomo’a 2nd pro fight, NEVER going more than 5 rounds ever and NEVER against a fighter of Salido’s grit and caliber. And… PROPS TO SALIDO!! Once again proving many experts wrong.

    Salido landed way TOO MUCH under the belt and Lomo held way TOO MUCH. Salido will take anything you let him get away with and some. That’s the way he’s always been. But who’s fault is that? hmmm.. Did he PURPOSELY not make the weight?? Was it part of Team Salido’s strategy? Willing to do what it takes to win? hmmm… Maybe. Besides, it’s no secret that he’s been struggling with his weight for a long time.

    As for Lomo’s holding, let’s face it, he wasn’t accustomed to fighting opponents of this caliber, strength & experience with such a weight advantage. Under such conditions, fighting on the inside was not the place he wanted to be. Surely he didn’t feel comfortable in this new experience and holding was quite natural, a habit that he frequently resorted to as an amateur. Oh well.. Peace!

  7. Darrell 07:03pm, 03/02/2014

    kid vegas - That’s as sensible a call as any I’ve read here.  If not cancel the fight then at least whack Salido with a whopping great purse cut and declare it a no contest AFTER the fight, plus the year suspension.

    As for Lomachenko, it was clear in the first few rounds that he was holding expecting the referee to break the clinches.  Cole didn’t, rightly so in my mind too.  It’s a professional bout, amateur hour is over for Lomachenko.  Towards the end it was Salido initiating the clinches because he was gassing.  Either way, the Ukrainian got a schooling of sorts…..a long time professional like Salido was just….doing his job!

    I had no problems with the decision, Salido did just enough in the first 8 to 10 rounds though that last one could’ve been a 10-8 & changed the situation.

  8. kid vegas 04:34pm, 03/02/2014

    When a guy comes in this much over the weight, the fight should be cancelled and he should be suspended for a year. This was bogus BS. The referee should have been suspended years ago for serial incompetence.

  9. Steve 04:15pm, 03/02/2014

    “(Levi Martinez) had it for Lomachenko 115-113” ... I would like to hear his thoughts on the fight…

  10. Ted 12:39pm, 03/02/2014

    Joe says, “This is the way it works in boxing. Judges and refs are bought off, not with money, but with continued future assignments.” Absolutely, it doesn’t take an Einstein to determine which officials fly all over the world for juicy packages. Some are so obvious they insult our intelligence.

  11. Ted 11:04am, 03/02/2014

    Oh indeed he is. Most Asian fighters seem to be, especially in Thailand. . Japanese fighters are beginning to shift ever-so-slightly however.

  12. Matt McGrain 11:00am, 03/02/2014

    Pacquiao, too, seems a good sport for the most part.

  13. Ted 10:55am, 03/02/2014

    Pete, that’s the way these Eastern Euro fighters seemed to be trained. His good sportsmanship, while a tad naïve, was like a breath of fresh air passing above the Gowanus Canal and /or over JMM’s whining head.

    Kovalev, the Klits, GGG, Provodnikov, etc. etc. How refreshing.

  14. Pete The Sneak 10:35am, 03/02/2014

    “I don’t want to say anything about the judges. I’m a fighter, and my job is to fight…I’m a straight fighter. I’m clean. I would never fight dirty and throw punches below the belt. I have no excuses. He didn’t make weight, but I thought I could still beat him.”—Vasyl Lomachenko

    Super refreshing…The kid had every right to beef/bitch/moan/complain and ends up demonstrating nothing but class…are you paying attention Juan Manuel Marquez?...Peace.

  15. Ted 10:00am, 03/02/2014

    Kudos and props to Pete the Sneak. He called this one spot on.

  16. Ted 09:48am, 03/02/2014

    One of my close friends who is a well known and highly respected retired referee emailed this message to me:

    “I have a bad taste in my mouth over last nite’s Lomachenko fight. It was supposed to be a featherweight title fight 126 lbs. It turned out that Lomachenko (hope I spelled it right ) ended up fighting a welterweight 2 weight classes heavier than him. The size difference was obvious. Still he fought as well as he could and never stopped trying. He was also hit with numerous low blows with no ref intervention. It seemed to me the deck was stacked against him from the beginning. This type of situation has happened before and its not right. Same day weigh ins should be the norm.”

    Sums up my feelings as well. Something smelled last night and it wasn’t roses.

  17. Matt McGrain 09:47am, 03/02/2014

    Well we could Joe - or you could click here:
    This tracks odds as they drop.  You can see swings considerably larger on football (soccer) games that are bigger than the one you are saying proves corruption in last night’s fight.  Nobody is concerned because there is nothing concerning.  It is just reaction to news (for example, Salido being much heavier than Loma on fight night will have drawn enough money to shorten the odds, alone), and out-of-town money going down in local venues (this always, always shortens odds in Vegas)
    The other thing you could do is just keep an eye on the odds for the next fight you believe to be free from corruption.  You will see the odds drop on the underdog, likely.  Short money does it.
    But the only thing about the change from 5-1 to 4-1 is that it wasn’t bigger when the weights came out.  Seriously, it’s meaningless.

  18. Joe Bruno 09:41am, 03/02/2014

    Matt, obviously we’ll have to agree to disagree.

  19. Matt McGrain 09:36am, 03/02/2014

    All due respect Joe, but that’s just not true.  A switch of one point (it’s not 20% - the possible swing is almost literally infinite) is not of *any* concern to anyone interested in irregular betting patterns. 
    You will consistently see odds change considerably more than that without alarm bells going off.  If a drop of a single point constituted an irregular betting pattern, all kinds of sports would be under suspicion and I mean daily.  The odds even shortened on James Buster Douglas nearer fight time.  Dempsey-Carpantier shaved 3 points off on fight day.  One point is literally, meaningless.  Literally.

  20. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 09:33am, 03/02/2014

    You can downplay Larry Cole’s role in the outcome but one thing is certain….if he had conscientiously and efficiently carried out his duties as a professional referee… would have been a different fight with a different result and that’s not to say that Salido would not have won.

  21. Joe Bruno 09:28am, 03/02/2014

    One more thing, Matt, when things like this are perpetrated, the gamblers keep the knowledge to a privileged few. You’ll never see a 5-1 underdog drop to even money, or even close.

    5-1 to 4-1 is a significant drop of 20%.

    This has been happening in boxing since Cain KO’d Able in the first round. I’ve seen it, first-hand, many times.

    I had my suspicions based on the referee being so bad.  And it’s my belief, you can only be this bad on purpose.  But now that I know the odds dropped 20% in favor of Salido, that’s all I need to know.

  22. Matt McGrain 09:27am, 03/02/2014

    Nah, that’s not a swing at all (Joe?).  That’s absolutely normal.  That’s why i used it to illustrate the point.

  23. Joe Bruno 09:21am, 03/02/2014

    Matt, you just made my point. A fight that starts at 5-1, and drops to 4-1 means the smart money was bet on the underdog, in this case Salido. That’s why the odds dropped.

    I’ve seen things like this happen hundreds of times in the past 50 years. I grew up in Manhattan’s Little Italy, and lived there for 48 years. Many times I heard rumors that a certain underdog was a “live” underdog.  And most times I can remember, that underdog won a decision.

    Now you can argue all you want that this fight was just a case of a bad referee and nothing more. And that would be a valid argument.

    It’s just not the way I see it.

    I could be wrong, but if I had to take odds, it was 4-1 in favor of tilting the landscape in Salido’s favor.

  24. Matt McGrain 09:13am, 03/02/2014

    And that WAS down a little on the 5-1 peak.  But on almost all occasions where a shadowy gambling syndicate make huge money on betting scams the odds drop significantly close to fight time whilst people make noises about “out of town money.”  That is, if you spread 500k on a given fighter the odds get hit up by that money.  That didn’t really happen here.
    But again - I don’t say it’s impossible just that there is absolutely no evidence for it at all apart form a referee that ignored fouls.

  25. Pete The Sneak 09:11am, 03/02/2014

    Not to toot my own horn, well you know what? Eff it..I will toot my own horn. I called this one exactly…Siri by close decision…Now, with that being said, I didn’t take into account that L. Coles would allow Salido a low blow fest and that Lomachenko would be fighting a Welterweight…Still, Salido is a veteran and he used every trick in the book to keep Lomachenko off him… If you can get away with it (See L. Coles), then why not?...Peace.

  26. Joe Bruno 09:06am, 03/02/2014

    Matt, “They” can be anyone from a promoter, to a television network, to crooked manager. But mostly “they” are big bettors who love betting on a fight when they know the result in advance.

    I just checked and Salido was close to a 4-1 underdog in Vegas going into the fight.

    Follow the money.

  27. Matt McGrain 08:59am, 03/02/2014

    Joe - we can agree that Cole was a disaster, that’s for sure.  I don’t know if there’s a “they” though.

  28. Matt McGrain 08:57am, 03/02/2014

    Thanks Koolz.
    I’ve only seen the fight once but it looked to me like Lomachenko initiated most of the clinches.  If he got held and hit after he had initiated them, why was initiating them all the time?  If he wants to clinch 10 times around i’d advise learning to infight full stop.  Because he apparently can’t do that.
    Either way, two things are definitely true - it was a close fight and the judges scorecards were fine.

  29. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 08:57am, 03/02/2014

    Don from Prov and Joe Bruno are the voices of reason here….bad referee? That’s precisely why he’s there….because he’s Godawful bad….he should’ve been on Lomachenko for huggin’ and Salido for nutcrackin’ and yes points should have been taken from both if they persisted. The point is this…everyone in the building and everyone at home could see what was going on but Larry Cole the official inside the ring close enough to get splattered with blood, sweat, and snot couldn’t.

  30. Joe Bruno 08:57am, 03/02/2014

    Matt, I don’t believe every fight is fixed. But when I see a ref as bad as Coles was, it gets me to thinking; If they got to the ref, maybe they got to the judges too.

    That’s all I’m saying.

    And if they did get to the judges, smart judges make the fight close.

    This is all pure conjecture on my part. But this fight follows the MO of a fight where one fighter needed a knockout to win only he didn’t know it.

    Just my opinion, based on past experience.

  31. Koolz 08:52am, 03/02/2014

    Matt your annoying like a little fly.  Holding.  Perhaps you missed the fact that Vasyl was trying to pull away but Salido would hold onto his glove then use his other hand to hit him with it.  I think that whole venue is corrupt.
    I am out till Wladmir(*who I hope isn’t as stupid as his Paid off Zionist Brother)fights.

  32. Steve 08:40am, 03/02/2014

    The referee was definitely watching everything other than the low blows. Anyone hit with that many low blows would have to hold. I lost all respect for the referee in the fight. Anyone who thinks the referee did a good job needs to leave boxing and join MMA…

  33. Robert Ecksel 08:31am, 03/02/2014

    “If there’s big money to be made, there’s big forgiveness and big amnesia.”—Ferdie Pacheco

  34. Matt McGrain 08:26am, 03/02/2014

    You’ve been around too long to believe that completely valid looking scorecards are completely valid?  Jesus Joe, I hope I don’t last that long.  Do you consider that every fight is fixed?
    And I don’t think the referee was bad in Salido’s favour at all, just bad.  I think a biased referee would have taken away points from Lomachenko for holding.  Why wouldn’t he?  He initiated clinches at the rate of 10 per round according to one source.  That is obscene.  I just saw a referee have a very, very bad night.
    Second: what is the motivation?  Lomachenko, potentially huge cash cow, and ABC would be happy to have him, so would any promoter.  Salido, over-the-hill, overweight, on the downslide, guaranteed not to draw 10% of what Lomachenko would.  So you have a bad referee, good judging and the cash-cow losing an extremely close fight but it adds up to corruption? 
    I saw Lomachenko pull out the last round for a draw.  It’s a very decent decision.  One that will COST the powers that be money, not make them money.

  35. Joe Bruno 08:12am, 03/02/2014

    Matt, like I said in my comments, good crooked judges make the fight close in favor of the fighter they need to win to please the promoter. So 116-112, and 115-113 are perfectly in line with that.

    Now you could argue they scored the fight like they saw it, and maybe they did.

    But I’ve been around too long to believe that.

    Considering how bad the ref was in Salido’s favor, in my opinion,  it only follows that the judges who voted for Salido, were in on the deal too.

    I was a professional boxing judge in NY State in the late 70’s. I saw first hand how this works.

    There’s a boxing judge, who name I won’t mention, who made every fight 5-4-1 in favor of the house fighter. This was before the points system was instituted in NY State.

    Before a fight starts, find out who the promoter, or the TV network needs to win, and 95% of the time, that fighter will get a close decision in a close fight.

  36. Don from Prov 08:06am, 03/02/2014

    Team Lomachencko has now learned why fighters generally work their way up the ranks.  Hopefully his manager / trainer have learned that the arrogance to take on a seasoned, tough, pro in ones second fight while ceding that pro the right to walk into the ring two divisions above the division in which a fight is being contested in is a questionable decision.  Besides, some of the missing basics that Mr. McGrain mentioned, Lomachenko might hopefully learn to can the “I like to fight fair” shit and return the favor after absorbing a certain number of low blows.  The whole team, and everyone else in boxing, should have learned that fighting in Tex-Ass while Laurence Cole is the ref—unless the is on your side—is just plain senseless.  Cole should be retired.  By force.

  37. Matt McGrain 08:02am, 03/02/2014

    The fight WAS close, Joe.  Two of the three judges cards were absolutely fine, the third was only marginal but almost every fight has a marginal card.

  38. Joe Bruno 07:33am, 03/02/2014

    I stopped counting the low blows by Salido at 12. There were probably more than that. The ref was a disgrace.

    Top Rank probably paid Coles off, not with money, but with more jobs in the future as a ref. This is the way ot works in boxing. Judges and refs are bought off, not with money, but with continued future assignments.

    I too thought Lomachneko won the fight,  115-114. But after seeing the ref’s work, I figured the judges were in the bag too. At least they were smart enough to make it close. Good crooked judges make sure the right guy wins, but they try to make it close so they won’t be too much of an outrage afterwards.

  39. Koolz 05:52am, 03/02/2014

    what the heck is wrong with boxing Refs!  Are they paid off are they completely stupid!  I have never seen so much cheating in boxing match…no wait it’s Salido I have seen that much cheating!
    What joke match, too many low blows too many holding of the gloves Salido is a dirty cheater.  Lomachenko was trying to box.

  40. NYIrish 05:40am, 03/02/2014

    On a serious note Lomachenko did remarkably well and almost pulled it out in the last round. His stamina was amazing for a guy in his second pro fight. He needs a professional trainer and dad needs to sit down. Lots of gym work with old pro sparring partners is in order. On the job training fighting top notchers in 12 rounders will burn this kid out.

  41. NYIrish 05:18am, 03/02/2014

    Lomachenko is singing soprano this morning. Salido literally beat the balls off him. Laurence “see no evil” Coles’ seeing eye dog wept at ringside.

  42. Matt McGrain 04:24am, 03/02/2014

    Poor fight, bad refereeing, but at least we had decent judging.  Close fight I scored it a draw.  The list of things Lomachneko didn’t do properly is disturbing - no uppercut, no boxing of the jab, absolutely devoid of any infighitng ability.  Someone called him “Wlad Klitschko without power” on one of the forums today and that made me chuckle.

  43. tuxtucis 01:15am, 03/02/2014

    Why not 10-8 ? It’s really stupid to give someone 10-8 for a flash knockdown and 10-9 for a beating with no knockdown…specially in USA where 10-9 is given sometimes only on the basis of aggression even when the aggressor didn’t throw a single clean punch…

  44. Darrell 01:13am, 03/02/2014

    Laurence Cole was both good & terrible.

    The good, he let the fighters work their own way out of the clinches…..

    The bad, he needs specs that go below the belt line.

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