LAS VEGAS-In a battle of Mexican gladiators Mickey Roman knocked out Orlando “Siri” Salido to unceremoniously end the old war horse’s long and fiery era on Saturday.
A 20-year career came to a sudden end.
After many wars and bloody battles Salido (44-14, 31 KOs) simply ran out of bullets against the younger warrior Roman (58-12, 45 KOs) in the non-title fight at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. A small crowd of more than 4,000 saw the final round of the former featherweight and super featherweight world champion.
Though Roman has many more pro fights he didn’t have the wars that Salido had endured in building a reputation as one of the most gritty prizefighters to ever enter the ring from Mexico.
In this fight an aged-looking Salido got off to a fast start when he hurt Roman with a right cross that wobbled the fighter from Juarez, Mexico. But despite the shaky legs Roman held tight and did not allow Salido another clean blow until the end of the first round.
After that, Roman stepped on the gas and was the busier fighter.
Salido, 37, must have sensed he was losing momentum. In the fourth he increased the tempo and was attacking more aggressively. But a three-punch combination dropped Salido against the ropes for the count. It looked like the end but the fighter from Obregon, Mexico rallied back furiously in the round and had Roman backing up until the bell rang. It was his last great moment.
The next few rounds saw Salido work furiously to even the fight but Roman stayed with him blow for blow. Then, in the eighth round Roman launched a five-punch combination that delivered Salido to the ground. Once again Salido rallied back after beating the count but the fire was not as intense.
Referee Robert Byrd had taken a careful look at Salido and when the ninth round opened the older Mexican warrior looked as if he had aged another 10 years. Roman went on attack and a four-punch combination that included an uppercut floored Salido at 1:43 of the ninth. The fight was immediately stopped and Roman declared the winner by technical knockout.
The winner Roman was eager to prove he was a different fighter from his last appearance on American soil when he was stopped by Japan’s Takashi Miura last January.
“The difference was I had to overcome. I want to fight against the champions,” said Roman, 32. “Everything was always against me but things will change from now on.”
Roman trained in Los Angeles for this fight and said he was determined to win.
“The good work we did and the good training was the difference,” said Roman. “If I had lost I would have quit.”
Watching with sagged shoulders was Salido. After so many great fights and countless battles of blood and guts he seemed composed about what had transpired.
“All the years I’ve been fighting and the wear simply caught up. It’s been great but time takes its toll. I’m going. I’m done,” said Salido.
Salido’s career began in 1996 and finally ends in 2017 after 21 years.
It was puncher versus boxer and Japan’s Kenichi Ogawa (23-1, 17 KOs) provided enough pressure and harder blows to offset the constantly moving Tevin Farmer (25-5, 5 KOs) to win the IBF super featherweight world title.
According to Compubox Farmer out-landed Ogawa by more than 59 blows but it was difficult to surmise that those blows were significant. The Philadelphia fighter touched Ogawa more but the more effective blows were from the Japanese.
Farmer had his moments and landed flush lefts occasionally but not as many as Ogawa’s rights. When it came down to it, the more flush blows were landed by the Japanese challenger.
One judge scored it 116-112 for Farmer. The others had it 116-112, 115-113 for Ogawa who wins the IBF title.
A super featherweight clash saw former WBC world super featherweight champion Francisco “El Bandido” Vargas (24-2, 17 KOs) win by technical decision against England’s Stephen Smith (25-4, 15 KOs) in the ninth round after a clash of heads.
When the two broke away Smith had suffered a badly split ear that was gushing blood. Referee Russell Mora stopped the fight and it went to the scorecards with Vargas winning 89-82, 88-83 twice. Smith didn’t wait to hear the scores and headed to the hospital.
Photo credit: Al Applerose
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