by Cliff Rold - They are fighters who have traveled different paths.
The defending titlist turned professional in March 1996 at the tender age of 15, suffering his first of five career stoppage losses. He suffered the last of those five in March 2000, his record a less than average 8-6-1.
Then the switch started to flip.
Orlando Salido hasnít been unbeaten since 2000, but if a fight ended early itís because he ended it. 31-5-1 since that rocky start, heís faced a whoís who of former champions fighting between the Featherweight and Lightweight limits. Salido went the route in a title try against Juan Manuel Marquez He handed Robert Guerrero his second loss and won his first title in 2006, only to cough it up on a failed test for performance enhancing drugs. He lost and then won in cracks at the IBF title against Cristobal Cruz. He had Yuriorkis Gamboa on the deck before falling twice himself in a decision loss for that crown.
Salido is 5-0 since, all of those wins by knockout. The two biggest of those wins give him the title he holds now to the detriment of once undefeated WBO titlist Juan Manuel Lopez. Each of their battles was a candidate for Fight of the Year. In the second, Salido came off the floor to win. He did the same in stopping the unexpected Weng Haya.
Orlando Salido is all sorts of blue-collar fighter, and he learned his craft as he went.
His challenger this weekend comes to battle from a different path. Part of a fighting family, Mikey Garcia is the brother and mentee of one of the gameís best trainers, Robert Garcia. While Salido was learning to stay on his feet, Garcia was watching his big brother win a title at 130 lbs. and trade shots with some of the best Jr. Lightweights in the world. [Click Here To Read More