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WBO makes Orlando Salido new 130lb champ; Mikey Garcia moving to light welterweight

Mikey Garcia Orlando SalidoBy Dan Ambrose: On Tuesday, World Boxing Organization (WBO) president Paco Valcarcel revealed that the WBO has made Orlando Salido (42-12-2, 29 KOs) the new WBO super featherweight champion. Valcarcel also said that the current WBO 130 pound champion Mikey Garcia is moving up to light welterweight [140].

In other words, Mikey will be skipping the lightweight [135] pound division completely. Presumably, Valcarcel had previously spoken with Mikey to find out what his plans are before making this announcement.

Mikey Garcia has fought only once this year in January due to issues with his promoter.

Last September, Orlando Salido, 33, defeated Terdsak Kokietgym by an 11th round KO to capture the interim WBO World super featherweight title to get in position to fight for the full title against Mikey. But with Mikey now having supposedly moved up to 140, the WBO is now installing Salido as the new WBO super featherweight champion.

“I congratulate @siri_salido he has some ‘Mexican guts’ and is now Champion. @mikeygarcia now moving up to 140 lbs,” Paco Valcárcel, Esq said on his twitter.

Now that Salido is the new WBO 130 pound champion, he can take on the likes of Diego Magdaleno and Francisco Vargas in the way of title challengers. Salido can also look to fight unification matches against the other super featherweight champions Rances Barthelemy, Takashi Miura or Takashi Uchiyama.

I’m not sure if the money will be all that different for Salido to fight a unification than it would be for him to make a simple title defense though. Bathelemy, Miuri and Uchiyama aren’t big names in the United States in terms of casual boxing fans, so it might not be worthwhile for Salido to bother fighting any of them.

Mikey is taking a big risk in moving up to light welterweight to campaign in that weight class without having even fought at lightweight first. Mikey fought twice at super featherweight in beating Roman Martinez and Juan Carlos Burgos.

Martinez knocked Mikey down in the 2nd round. If Martinez was able to knock Mikey down then you can only wonder what light welterweights like Ruslan Provodnikov, Lucas Matthysse and Danny Garcia would do to him, not that Top Rank would risk putting Mikey in with any of those guys. Mikey will likely be carefully scheduled for a while until they feel it’s safe to put him in with a puncher. They can target the light hitting WBO light welterweight champion Chris Algieri almost immediately, because he’s someone that Mikey would have a reasonable chance of beating.

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