By Jake Donovan
There’s not a lot that needs to go into hyping up this weekend’s rematch between Orlando Salido and Juan Manuel Lopez, but that hasn’t prevented the event’s handlers from pulling out all of the stops.
The proud nations of both fighters are rallying behind their guys, as evidenced by the superstar turnout for Friday’s weigh-in. Modern day ring legends from Mexico and Puerto Rico from both sides were introduced to the stage in support of this weekend’s headliner, which airs live on Showtime from Coliseo Roberto Clemente in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Joining Salido (37-11-2, 25KO) on the scale was a current Hall of Fame legend in Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., along with two future candidates in Juan Manuel Marquez and Jorge Arce.
The day was particularly festive for Arce, who received a championship ring from the WBO in commemoration of his most recent title win, scoring a 12-round decision over Angky Angkota last November. The victory netted Arce a bantamweight belt, his fourth weight class in which he’s claimed a major belt, having also served as lineal junior flyweight champ, along with title stints at super flyweight and super bantamweight.
Arce is coming off of his third straight rematch-themed win, scoring a fifth round knockout of former flyweight champ Lorenzo Parra in their non-title fight last month. The two fought to a 10-round draw in a Sept. ’10 title eliminator, though Arce still went on to fight for the belt, scoring a career-resurrecting 12th round stoppage of then-unbeaten Wilfredo Vazquez Jr.
As admiring as was the scene of Salido being flanked by some of the best fighters in Mexico’s rich boxing history, the room’s biggest applause naturally went to the Borciua legends on hand.
Lopez, attempting a third title run in hopes of regaining his belt from Salido, was proudly joined on stage by future Hall of Fame stars Felix ‘Tito’ Trinidad and Ivan Calderon. Many on hand took note of Trinidad’s fit and trim physique, as the legendary former three-division champ has been known to let himself go during retirement.
The slender look sported by Trinidad prompted speculation of a possible comeback, but remains strictly a rumor heavily laced with optimism for the moment.
Showtime begins its televised coverage tomorrow at 8:00PM on Showtime Extreme with select undercard bouts before moving to its flagship network for the main portion of the show, beginning at 10:00PM ET. In addition to the Salido-Lopez rematch is a featherweight bout between top contender Miguel Angel ‘Mikey’ Garcia and former title challenger Bernabe Concepcion.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of Boxingscene.com. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/JakeNDaBox or submit questions/comments to [email protected]