Salido Rains Pain On Juanma
By Luis Cadiz Sr.
Photos: Luis Arroyo
Over 10,000 boxing fans
filled the Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum of Bayamon, Puerto
Rico, to witness "Maximum Rivalry: Puerto Rico vs.
Mexico". Representing Puerto Rico in this outing was the
undefeated WBO featherweight World Champion, Juan Manuel
"Juanma" Lopez (30,0 27KOs). While doing the same for
the raza Mexicana was Orlando "Siri" Salido, a rugged
former champion (35-11-2, 23 KOs), of Ciudad Obregon,
Mexico, determined to rain down the pain on the
defending Puerto Rican champion.
1st round was a tense
one, not the average feel your opponent out round, as
Juanma Lopez was looking for a home for his powerful
left and Orlando Salido was pressuring him around the
ring. Much of the same in the 2nd with Orlando making
the fight look like it was being fought in a telephone
booth with his constant suffocation of the champion.
Both are swinging away in the 3rd, the Mexican
challenger is not letting Juanma breath so the defending
champ uses his jab to give himself some room. The 4th
round had both fighters trading vicious attacks on one
another, but Salido faired well in quite a few exchanges
with his right.
The 5th was the shocker,
a left hook followed by a hellacious right floored
Juanma... And as he got up and walked to the corner, he
looked bad. The 6th was the beginning of something out
of a Hollywood script as Lopez would fight this round on
his heart more than anything else. Salido trying to
capitalize on what he did in the previous round went in
for the kill but he got tagged with a Lopez left that
then put him in bad shape. To the screams of "Juanma,
Juanma..." Lopez battled back in the 7th and looked as
if he were back in the fight, even staggering Salido
with a crashing left.
The 8th had both
fighters giving each other all they can take, but it
wasn't looking good for Lopez as the wear and tear of
the previous rounds were taking it's toll. Lopez's
punches, though still with some power behind them, lost
accuracy and Salido took advantage of every space left
open by a deteriorating defense. Cornered, Juanma threw
every punch in hindered desperation, trying to keep the
WBO featherweight world title on island soil. But at
1min:39sec of the before mentioned round, referee
Roberto Ramirez Jr. stepped in between both fighters to
call a halt to the hostilities. Orlando "Siri" Salido
scored the huge upset victory and became the new WBO
featherweight World Champion with a TKO win over the
previously unbeaten Juan Manuel "Juanma" Lopez.
The reconstruction of
the former champion, Juan Manuel "Juanma" Lopez is
already under way, with a rematch set for sometime this
fall. But more than just a belt was lost here. Juanma
now has a blemish on what once was a perfect record, his
aura of invincibility is tarnished and the mega-combat
with Gamboa will not be the same... If it ever gets done
now. Yet the factor with the most weight behind it is
the issue that he carried into the ring the night of the
fight, his divorce. That should be his top priority on
his list to recovering what once was his.