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Cruz Defeats Salido, Wins Vacant IBF Featherweight Title – Latest Boxing News

LatestBy Manuel Perez: If you were looking for an exciting action packed bout, then you needed to look no further than last night’s IBF featherweight showdown for the vacant IBF title between Cristobal Cruz (37-11-1, 23 KOs) and Orlando Salido (31-10-2, 20 KOs) at the Northern Quest Casino, in Airway Heights, Washington. Both fighters traded shots all night long with both of them eventually throwing more than 1000 punches a piece, though many of them missed badly.

Cruz, 31, ultimately won the exciting bout by a 12-round split decision, but I had him winning the vast majority of the rounds with his good work rate. The final judges’ scores were 116-112, 116-112 and 113-115. Neither fighter’s punches had much power to them, as they seemed to sacrifice power for a much higher work rate. Salido, normally a hard puncher, appeared to make the mistake of trying to match Cruz punch for punch, which led to Salido tiring badly in the last four rounds of the fight causing him to push his punches rather than throw them with any kind of authority. He probably should have focused more on blocking Cruz’s mostly wild and badly telegraphed punches instead, and looking for opportunities to counter him with power shots.

Salido, 27, came out looking strong in the first round, throwing hard body shots and landing well to the head. His punches had much more accuracy than the wild, badly telegraphed shots thrown by Cruz. Salido looked as good in this round as he had in tough fights with Juan Manuel Marquez and Robert Guerrero. However, Salido seemed to be throwing more punches than he normally does in his fights, and I was concerned whether he could keep it up for a full 12-rounds. In trying to match Cruz’s high volume work rate, Salido appeared to be making a calculated risk that could very well backfire on him.

In rounds two through four, Cruz gained the upper hand, as he began pouring out nonstop punches, thrown with little power or form. The shots were still effective nonetheless, keeping Salido busy having to try and block many of them. There was little power on the punches because of the sheer volume, of course. Salido, if he wanted to, had a lot of opportunities to land counter shots while Cruz was throwing his wide looping punches, but strangely enough, he almost never did.

Salido came back well in rounds five and six, hitting Cruz with hard punches to the midsection and head, while showing really good accuracy. Cruz’s punch output dropped off dramatically in the two rounds because he was backed up often by Salido’s power shots. Ideally, this is the way that Salido should have fought the three prior rounds. In other words, he should have been focusing on accuracy and power rather than throwing a lot of needless punches with little power.

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