by Chris Robinson
This is definitely a cherished time in the career of WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido.
With an electrifying pair of TKO victories of Puerto Rico’s Juan Manuel Lopez within the span of a year, Salido has a special kind of buzz surrounding him that only comes with fighters in the sport who are guaranteed to bring some kind of excitement each time out.
And while Salido, who holds a 38-11-2 record with 26 knockouts, may have been brought in as the proverbial opponent against Cuba’s Yuriorkis Gamboa in September of 2010 as well as his first fight with Lopez last April, he now has both Showtime and HBO interested in his services for a showcase all his own later in the year.
I caught up with Salido on late Sunday afternoon, as he was joined on the phone by his manager Sean Gibbons as well as international matchmaker, advisor, and promoter Sampson Lewkowicz, who was kind enough to do the translating for us on this day.
As our conversation started off, it became very clear that Salido has been doing some deep thinking on his career, as he seems less than enthused when eyeing the landscape of the featherweight division.
“Now I see that there is nobody at 126 that is an attractive opponent for myself, so I am thinking maybe I should move up to join the 130-pounders,” stated Salido, who hails from Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico. “I would love to fight [Adrien] Broner at 130, but with one condition. After the fight, after I knock out Broner, I want his father to brush my own hair.”
Salido’s comment was a definite dig at the Cincinnati, Ohio native, the present holder of the WBO junior featherweight championship, as Broner caused a bit of a stir after his knockout over Vicente Martin Rodriguez last November when he asked for father Thomas to brush his hair amidst his post-fight interview with HBO analyst Max Kellerman so that he looked good enough for the millions watching.
Broner is one of the most animated and exuberant fighters in the sport yet Salido seems to have a real disdain towards the 22-year old’s confident ways.
“He’s always cocky because he never really fought anybody,” Salido said. “He fought finished fighters or nobodies and he’s so arrogant that I want to shut his mouth. The only thing I’m thinking of now is Broner. He has a big mouth and he likes to dance but I want to break his jaw. I will do exactly the same thing to him that I did to Lopez.”
Whether you love Broner or loathe him, you can’t deny that he is a special kind of talent inside of the ring. But such a fact seems to be easily dismissed by Salido, who feels that finding a way to make Broner fight a good ol’ fashioned dog fight is the remedy for taking away his undefeated record.
“It’s simple. Nobody puts pressure on him and nobody confronts him and fights him,” Salido stated. “I plan to do that. I have the qualifications and I am strong enough to stand up and fight toe to toe. I’m looking forward to that fight.”
Expect more from Salido in the coming days…