By Keith Idec
Orlando Salido stopped Juan Manuel Lopez twice before Mikey Garcia dominated Salido in their WBO featherweight title fight earlier this year.
With all due respect, Lopez doesn’t think that matters much entering his fight against Garcia on Saturday night at American Airlines Center in Dallas (10:45 p.m. ET/PT; HBO).
Lopez (33-2, 30 KOs) gave Garcia (31-0, 26 KOs) credit for defeating Solido, whom Garcia dropped four times before their Jan. 19 title fight in New York was stopped due to Garcia’s broken nose and sent to the scorecards. The Puerto Rican southpaw just thinks Garcia faced a deteriorated Salido (39-12-2, 27 KOs), not the same determined Mexican champion that twice topped Lopez by technical knockout.
“I think Salido was pretty beat up when he faced Garcia,” Lopez, 29, said on a conference call, “and I think Salido was fresher when I got him. … I say that because after he fought me, in the fights he had afterwards, he had a lot of trouble. He was knocked down by [Weng Heya]. I think he was beat up by me. That may be wrong for me to say, but I know he wasn’t as fresh when he fought Mikey as when he was fighting me.”
In one of his two bouts between Salido’s victories over Lopez, the Philippines’ Weng Heya (17-5, 9 KOs) knocked Salido to the canvas twice, once apiece in the third and fourth rounds. Salido recovered to win their December 2011 non-title fight by eighth-round technical knockout in Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, Salido’s hometown.
The 25-year-old Garcia, of Oxnard, Calif., didn’t take offense to Lopez’s contention that he defeated a worse Salido than Lopez opposed. He also agrees with the old boxing adage that styles make fights and doesn’t make much of him beating Salido and Lopez losing to him twice.
“I also agree with Juanma, that the styles are different and I fight different than Salido does,” Garcia said. “I am preparing myself differently for this fight because I am fighting Juanma. It is going to be a different fight. You can’t jump to conclusions.
“We’ll just have to see what the fight dictates and how it unfolds. I don’t have thoughts that [because of] the way I beat Salido I’d be able to walk through Juanma. It doesn’t work that way. It is a different fight, a different opponent and I have to prepare differently.”
Keith Idec covers boxing for The Record and Herald News, of Woodland Park, N.J., and BoxingScene.com. He can be reached on Twitter @Idecboxing.