By Rafael Soto
Former champion Orlando Salido (39-12-2, 27KOs) is now targeting a move to 130-pounds to challenge WBO super featherweight beltholder Roman "Rocky" Martinez (26-1-2, 16KOs). Both fighters saw action in an HBO televised tripleheader on Saturday night at New York's Madison Square Garden. Salido lost an eight round technical decision, and his WBO featherweight title, to Mikey Garcia. Martinez went to a controversial twelve round draw with mandatory challenger Juan Carlos Burgos.
"It was a bad night. I was surprised in the first round and I could not recover. When I finally found my pace and distance I started connecting with my shots much better and I felt that I was within two or three more rounds before a knockout [victory] - and then the head clash came and that was the fight. I feel that the best rounds for me were coming up. I showed that in the seventh round, but that's boxing. I was well prepared but Garcia fought well and he was better than me that night," said Salido.
"I am sorry but that headbutt was completely accidental. I was out in front, he was attacking and unfortunately we clashed heads - but I repeat that if the fight had continued I would have dominated in the later rounds. I felt that his performance was going down and mine was going up."
Salido plans to return in the month of May and then he wants a fight with Martinez in September.
"I talked to [manager] Sean Gibbons and my promoter Fernando Beltrñan [of Zanfer], after the fight. They told me that I have their support and if I wanted a rematch they would negotiate it - but I told them that I'd rather go up to 130 pounds and challenge the Puerto Rican Roman 'Rocky 'Martinez, who fought in the same card on Saturday. So if all goes well I will fight in Mexico in May, and then in September I will challenge Rocky 'Martínez. I want to make a fight for ten rounds in May in Hermosillo and then get a title fight against Martinez," Salido said.