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Beltran on Marquez, Chavez-Martinez, Salido, Arce, More

By Chris Robinson

One of the great things about being a fighter on a hot streak is the added anticipation of what your next ring endeavor will present.

Sonora, Mexico’s Orlando Salido is presently the man of the hour, having defeated former champion Juan Manuel Lopez in emphatic fashion on March 10th in a Showtime-televised rematch that surpassed their first encounter. Salido pulled off a big upset last April in stopping Puerto Rico’s Lopez in eight rounds and the second time around he was just as ruthless, surviving a fifth round knockdown before dropping and halting his foe in the 10th round.

Salido holds a portion of the featherweight championship, the WBO bauble to be exact, and has a lot of momentum behind him after fifty-two fights and sixteen years under his belt. On Monday night I caught up with Salido’s promoter, Fernando Beltran, president of Zanfer Promotions, to get a gauge on what the victory meant to him and what the future may hold for his prizefighter.

In addition to weighing in on all matters related to Salido, Beltran took some time to speak on some other fighters under his umbrella or who he will be working with closely, including Juan Manuel Marquez, Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., and fan-favorite Jorge Arce.
 
Marquez is coming off of a heartbreaking majority-decision loss to Manny Pacquiao this past November that many felt should have went in his favor. Marquez is presently lined up for an April 14th return on HBO pay-per-view against Ukraine native Serhiy Fedchenko and then may find himself in a quick return with a July 14th assignment at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, Texas.
 
Chavez Jr. is one of the sport’s biggest attractions and may be defending his WBC middleweight championship against England's Martin Murray on June 16th in El Paso, Texas. If successful, there is no bigger fight for the young champion than a duel with Argentina’s Sergio Martinez, who this past weekend overcame a rough start in pounding out Birmingham, England’s Matthew Macklin.
 
Arce is enjoying a fulfilling run late into his decorated career, a trek that started with his upset over Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. last year in Las Vegas, and he may find himself with a date against Fil-Am star and junior featherweight champion Nonito Donaire later in the year.
 
Beltran was able to speak on his experience at the Salido-Lopez rematch, the recent rumors of a potential Chavez Jr.-Martinez clash being discussed for September, what may be in store for Marquez later in the year, and a surprising candidate he is considering for Salido down the road.
 
In his own words, this is what Beltran had to share…
 
Being present for Orlando Salido’s upset over Juan Manuel Lopez…
“It was great, because I knew what we had in Salido. He only lost three times in the last five years. One against Juan Manuel Marquez, one of the best three fighters pound-for-pound, and one against this kid Yuriorkis Gamboa, who is a very good fighter. And the other one, a split-decision I think he won against another fighter from Mexico. I really believe in the kid, but going against Lopez, with the crowd, probably the same crowd influenced the judges. The scorecards were not close to what we were seeing. They were a little bit off. But I don’t want to criticize the referee or the judges. I’m just telling you that I think they were influenced by the same crowd.”

Why referee Roberto Ramirez Sr. was wise to stop the fight in the tenth round…
“I think Juanma really proved, he fought his life out. Because he was trying to perform in front of his people and I really respect Juanma because he really gave it his all. But Salido proved once again that he’s a superior fighter, that he can take a punch, and that also, he can give a punch. I really think that Juanma was hurt when they stopped the fight. A lot of people thought that he could continue, but I think he was too dangerous for him. I really believe that he was really hurt and I think it was a good stoppage for the good of the fighter.”

Eyeing Salido’s future…
“Of course, as you know, me and Salido’s team were the most excited people after his win. Other people weren’t as excited because they didn’t mention him. But I know the networks are willing to [showcase] him and we are very grateful for the opportunity to be on their network twice. Right now I’m really looking forward to see the interest in him and there are a lot of fighters, a lot of combinations of fighters in that weight class. We are willing to fight at 126 against whoever and we’re willing to fight at 130 too.”

Rumors of a Chavez Jr.-Martinez clash being discussed for the fall…
“We’re looking into it. And, of course, Martinez deserves all the credit to fight for the belt. We have had several conversations between Bob Arum and Lou Dibella, who is the promoter of Martinez, and I think that fight should happen. I don’t see why not. Martinez won this Saturday and we congratulate him and let’s see if Chavez can perform the same way in June and we can probably meet in September.”

Respecting Martinez…
“I think he’s a fighter with a lot of experience, probably style-wise, not the most aggressive but he’s fast and he knows what he’s doing and he’s a very recognized fighter. And I think if Julio confronts him and if Julio wins and beats him, I think he’s going to get a lot of recognition.”
 
Juan Manuel Marquez’s April 14th bout with Fedchenko in Mexico City…
“We’re 100% involved with Marquez. We’re looking forward to put Marquez in his next fight. It will be on pay-per-view, for all the millions of people who saw him win his last fight, and want to see him back in the ring. Eighteen years without fighting in Mexico City means a lot for everyone. He’s going to fight in one of the most modern arenas of the world, especially in Latin America.”

Marquez’s hopes for a fourth fight with Manny Pacquiao…
“He’s ready and he’s been training very hard. I think he’s looking forward to winning this fight and enjoying Manny’s fight against Timothy Bradley in June, and see what’s next for everybody. I really believe that a fourth fight between Pacquiao and him, the audience deserves a fourth fight. Juan Manuel Marquez, he is willing to fight him and I know Manny is a very, very proud person and he will do it for his people. There’s a lot of doubts in the past fight, a lot of people saw Juan Manuel Marquez win, and I know Manny is a real, real sportsman and a real gentleman and he’s going to step into the ring to settle the score correctly.”

Jorge Arce’s return to the ring and an eventual crack at Nonito Donaire late in 2012…
“I think we will fight Donaire in the fall. Right now Jorge Arce is going to be part of the card for the Manny Pacquiao-Timothy Bradley fight. We’re very excited, because anytime that Pacquiao fights, the world stops. The last time he stole the show, when Manny fought Mosley. He stole the show fighting with Wilfredo Vazquez Jr. and it will be a pleasure to do that again.”

Nothing set for Arce’s next opponent…
“He never ducked anybody, so he will fight whoever they put him in front of. With Arce, we never worry about opponents. We know he’s going to give a good fight no matter who the opponent is. We’re just going to fight the best guy out there and to give a pleasing fight for the audience.”

Loving the idea of a Salido-Donaire collision in the future…
“I know Nonito, who is a very good fighter who I respect, is looking for Arce, who is my fighter. And I know Arce believes that he can beat him and it’s a great fight, but in case Nonito comes out with his hands raised, I would love to see Nonito for Orlando Salido. He’s been saying that he’s going to be going to 126 [pounds].”

His response to people questioning what trouble Salido would present to Donaire?
“My answer would be ‘What type of trouble can Donaire present for Orlando?’. Imagine what Orlando would do to Wilfredo Vazquez Jr., who’s also a great fighter.”

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