By Luis Sandoval
Orlando “Siri” Salido was back in vintage form Saturday night as he outworked and dominated Orlando Cruz to recapture the WBO Featherweight championship belt. It’s the same title he lost in January to Mikey Garcia as Salido’s performance against Cruz was night and day compared to how he fared with Garcia.
Now that Salido is once again a champion, he has some great opportunities waiting for him. BoxingScene caught up with Salido and asked who he’d like to face next.
“I want to face the best fighters. Whoever is there. There’s [Nonito] Donaire, there’s the Olympian [Vasyl] Lomachenko. There are various names” Salido would tell BoxingScene.
Two time Olympic gold medalist Lomachenko made his professional debut on the same card as Salido and there are already plans to match both men up for their next fight. Lomachenko is definitely on a fast track as facing a 54 fight veteran champion like Salido is a drastic step up for him in his 2nd professional fight even if he does have one of the most impressive amateur careers.
“I thought [Lomachenko] looked good. He moved but he was fighting a much smaller fighter. We have to see how it looks when he faces a true Featherweight like [myself]” said Salido. “He has a very good amateur career. Olympics, world championships and they say he deserves [a fight with me]. So if he deserves it, we’re here ready for him”.
Another fight that is still on Salido’s mind is a rematch with Mikey Garcia who soundly defeated him in their contest. Salido feels he wasn’t in the right state of mind for that fight and if he got a chance to rectify that loss, he’d take it in a heartbeat.
“The last fight I had some problems and I wasn’t fully focused on what I had to do in the ring. I went in there just to get hit and tonight was different. This time we had a positive mentality to win and to do my job and to look good. I still have that torn in my side and if I get a chance to fight [Garcia] again, then bring it on” said the WBO Featherweight champion.
It was also recently reported by BoxingScene that Gary Russell Jr has been designated as the mandatory challenger for Salido’s title so he immediately gets put in the mix as well. Per the WBO, Russell must be given a title shot within the next 180 days.
Looks like Salido and his team have their work cut out for them as they decide who they will face next.
You can follow Luis Sandoval on Twitter & Instagram @Truewest007.