(Photo Credit: Tom Hogan/Golden Boy Promotions) By Dan Ambrose: In what has to be seen as another robbery, WBC super featherweight champion Francisco Vargas (23-0-2, 17 KOs) was given a 12 round draw against former two time world champion Orlando Salido (43-13-4, 30 KOs) on Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Vargas was cut over both eyes in suffering cuts in the 4th and 5th rounds. It looked like the scar tissue from around Vargas’ eyes gave way.
It’s not surprising because Vargas’ right eye looked like hamburger from his last fight against Takashi Miura last November. As bad as Vargas’ eye looked in that fight, there was no way it was going to hold up tonight from the pounding he was taking from Salido. Vargas didn’t handle fighting with cuts too well. He was complaining about Salido accidentally clashing heads with him. Instead of realizing that bumping heads is part of the sport, Vargas complained about it.
The final judges’ scores were 115-113 for Vargas, and 114-114 and 114-114 even. With the fight being scored a draw, the 31-year-old Vargas retained his WBC 130lb title. I had Salido winning eight rounds to four. He dominated the last two rounds with his harder shots and pressure.
Salido hurt Vargas with big right hands in rounds seven and ten. Those were rounds where Vargas looked in trouble after getting nailed.
Vargas landed 386 of 1184 punches for a connect percentage of 33, according to Compu-Box. For his part, Salido landed 328 of 939 punches for a connect percentage of 35.
Francisco “El Bandido” Vargas:
“I feel really good about this decision,” said Vargas. “I knew coming in that I was going to be facing a very tough opponent; however I didn’t expect for him to head butt me and give me so many cuts to the face. Overall, I’m happy I was able to face this skilled warrior.”
In Salido’s previous fight against WBO super featherweight champion Roman “Rocky” Martinez last September, Salido dominated the fight even more than he did tonight but had to settle for a 12 round draw. I thought Salido won that fight as well. It was a sickeningly one-sided fight with Salido beating Martinez like a draw for 12 rounds. You have to wonder what Salido has to do for him to get a victory. I think problem Salido has is he’s coming into fights the B-side fighter. I think it puts him at a disadvantage because he’s fighting popular guys that are supposed to win.