12/9/2017-A fighter’s fighter’s long career was brought to a brutal end in Las Vegas when Orlando Salido (44-13-4D-1NC-31K) was given a brutal sendoff at the heavy hands of Miguel (Mickey) Roman (57-12-44K). Between the two warriors, there were 131 fights with 75 knockouts. To say these two were battle tested, would be a colossal understatement. I’ve rarely seen Salido in a bad or dull fight and even toward the end of his career, if you catch him ‘right’, you could learn something. He knew all the tricks in the book and THEN some. He gave the young upstart Vasyl Lomachenko his lone loss. In tonight’s tussle, this was pretty much a do or die fight for both guys and they certainly conducted themselves accordingly.
From the opening bell, Roman was pressing the action, forcing the slow to heat up Salido to the ropes and administering a blistering body attack. Salido got his wakeup call with about a minute left in the round and seriously wobbled Roman with a roundhouse right, causing a break in Roman’s assault and causing him to hold on. This was pretty much the template for the entire fight. In round four, a two fisted assault dropped Salido, causing hysteria to his family sitting ringside and this wasn’t to be the only time they were put through this. Salido was starting to bruise up and his reactions were slowing down as was his counter attacks. Roman was in full attack mode, punishing Salido with both hands, whenever he trapped him along the ropes. The eighth was another brutal round for the fast fading Salido as he was again dropped and looking as if this was indeed, his last fight. His heart wouldn’t allow him to quit, though, he’s no Rigondeaux and he finished the round. The brutal end arrived in the ninth as Salido was battered by Roman and dropped again, causing ref Robert Byrd to mercifully call a halt. This was a hard fight and Salido has seen his share of those. He’s been in a few fights of the year and nominated for others. Afterwards, he informed Max Kellerman that this was indeed his last fight. It’s been a long, hard road and Mr. Salido comported himself with class and dignity and never short changed the fans. He may have lost a fight or two to the scales but never due to lack of effort. Good luck in the future Orlando, it’s been a great ride. So now, the 32 years old Roman is calling out all the ‘30’s and 35’s. With his heavy hands and dogged persistence, he won’t be ANYBODY’S plaything.
In the semi, Philly’s clever, talented, southpaw Tevin Farmer (25-4-1-5K) proclaimed weeks ago, “if I can’t beat somebody like Ogawa, I may as well quit”. Never a good thing, to talk that sorta’ shit, especially when you have FIVE kos in THIRTY fights. His opponent, the much bigger Kenichi Ogawa (22-1-17K) was not impressed in the least with Farmer’s boasts. He pressed the action early even though he found the defensive minded Farmer an extremely elusive target. Farmer’s a slickster, in the mode of the former great champion, Pernell (Sweetpea) Whitaker, though ‘Pea’ had a LOT more offense. Farmer’s tricky too, and got away with lots of low blows. I guess since Ogawa didn’t complain, the ref saw no need to call Farmer on it more than once or twice. Farmer started to come on in the second half of this so-so fight and I though he did enough to pull it off. Wrong. The scores rendered ware, 116-112 farmer and 116-112 and 115-113 for the new IBF 130lb champ Ogawa. I think Ogawa was credited for pushing the action or maybe just weren’t impressed with Farmer’s safety first style of combat. Not ALL fighters from Philly are PHILLY FIGHTERS.
In a pretty good action bout, ex camp Francisco Vargas (23-1-17K) the perennial Red Cross donor, faced a guy named Smith. This would be Steven Smith (25-3-15K), one of the fighting Smith brothers from England. Seems like there’s a dozen of them. Both guys were active early, taking turns putting hands on each other. One thing I found annoying in this fight was ref Russell Mora, who has a very bad habit of knocking down a fighter’s hands when they’re tied up. He should either break them up or leave them the hell alone. There were no knockdowns in this one but there was something a helluva’ lot WORSE. In the eighth round, coming out of a clinch, Smith’s left ear was damn near ripped off. This made Tyson’s ear nibbling look like a picnic. It was grotesque, with blood streaming down Smith’s chest. Needless to say, the doctor stopped it and Vargas, ahead, was awarded a technical unanimous decision. Smith showed very little action to this horrible incident which was surprising.