Francisco Vargas vs. Orlando Salido on June 4 in Carson, CA
By Dan Ambrose: Unbeaten WBC super featherweight champion Francisco Vargas (23-0-1, 17 KOs) will be defending his title on June 4 against former WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido (43-13-3, 30 KOs) on HBO World Championship Boxing at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The Vargas-Salido fight was made official on Friday for 6/4. It should be a great fight for as long as it lasts.
The 31-year-old Vargas captured the WBC 130lb title last November with an exciting 9th round knockout win over then WBC super featherweight champion Takashi Miura at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Miura knocked Vargas down in the 4th round of the contest, and looked to be on his way to scoring a knockout. However, Vargas came back to take control over the fight and knock Miura down in the 9th round to get the stoppage in that round.
For his part, Salido, 35, is coming off of a robbery against WBO super featherweight champion Roman “Rocky” Martinez last September at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. The fight was scored a 12 round draw despite Salido appearing to win 8 of the 12 rounds in the eyes of a lot of fans. You can arguably call that the robbery of the year.
Surprisingly, Salido is interested in fighting Martinez again despite the controversial outcome of their last fight. However, Martinez was scheduled to defend his WBO title against #1 WBO Miguel Berchelt, and now that fight isn’t happening after Martinez suffered an injury training.
Vargas vs. Salido has the potential of being a good fight as long as the judges’ don’t ruin it like they did the Salido vs. Martinez 2 fight. A knockout would be ideal for the Vargas-Salido contest because then there would be no way for a controversial outcome like the last time. I thought Salido was robbed in both of his fights against Martinez. I don’t know what it is with Salido, but he just can’t get a break when fighting Martinez.
There’s a rematch clause in the contract in case Salido beats Vargas, which is a normal thing to have. I’m sure Salido won’t mind facing Vargas a second time rather than moving on to face Martinez for a third time. Salido vs. Vargas is probably going to be a much bigger fight than a third fight against Martinez anyway.
Vargas was pretty badly cut up in the Mirura fight, and you have to wonder whether those cuts will open up once Salido starts pounding him with shots on June 4. If the cuts do open up, it’s going to be awfully hard for Vargas to win. He may be younger than Salido by four years, but the scar tissue from those cuts could be a problem for him.
June 4 will be nine months since Vargas last fought. Hopefully that’s enough time for the cuts to heal up. However, when you’re dealing with scar tissue from old cuts, it doesn’t matter how much time you have to heal. That scar tissue could tear and open up easily once Salido starts nailing Vargas with his powerful shots.
“Just when you think you’re at your darkest moment, when we lost the deal for Salido-Martinez III, and you question your faith in boxing for a moment, life works in strange ways and we got a better fight,” Sean Gibbons, Salido’s manager, told ESPN.com.
If Salido can get past Vargas in back to back fights, then we’ll likely see Salido and Roman Martinez facing each other in a third fight. That would likely take place in 2017 under the best circumstances.