by Francisco Salazar
Orlando Salido makes for exciting fights.
Even ones where he ends up on the canvas.
With a possible bout against Vasyl Lomachenko penciled for later this summer, Salido survived a knockdown to stop late-sub Aristides Perez in round eight before a partisan crowd at the Palenque del Expo in Salido's hometown of Ciudad Obregon, Sonora, Mexico.
Salido improves to 44-14-3, with 3 KOs, while Perez falls to 30-10-2, with 16 KOs.
With the win, Salido's three-bout winless streak was snapped. And Salido is also the WBO's mandatory challenger at the weight, for the title which Lomachenko holds.
Salido was scheduled to fight Amphon Suriyo of Thailand, but Suriyo was denied a visa to enter Mexico, according to Gibbons. Perez took the fight Thursday morning, arriving in Ciudad Obregon late that evening.
The 36-year-old Salido had not fought since June 4, when he fought to a 12 round majority decision draw against Francisco Vargas in what is considered 2016's 'Fight of the Year.' After a period of rest, Salido was penciled to return to the ring in November/ December, but a minor back injury during training camp scratched those plans.
While Perez gave a decent account early on, it was Salido who landed the more-telling blows during the first two rounds.
Midway through the third round, Perez dropped Salido with a right uppercut to the head. Salido attempted to stand up, but dropped to a knee to recover from the punch. Undaunted, Salido went on the attack during the final minute of the round, walking Perez back against the ropes and letting his hands go.
As the fight progressed, Perez's punch output dropped. Perez fought in spurts, but had to deal with Salido's relentless attacks to the head and body.
After the end of the seventh round, Perez's corner advised referee Francisco Labiaga that Perez was not able to continue. Rather than wave the fight over, as is tradition in Mexico, Labiaga administered an eight-count at the start of the eighth round, counting Perez out on his stool at 10 seconds.
Now that the Perez fight is over, it will be interesting to see if Top Rank, which promotes Lomachenko, and Zanfer Promotions, which promotes Salido, will iron out the details to finalize a rematch between the two for late August or September, as it has widely reported.
In the co-feature, Kenia Enriquez knocked out Mary Salinas in the third round to win the WBC World female light flyweight title.
Enriquez improves to 19-1, with 9 KOs, while Salinas falls to 15-6-3, with 5 KOs.
The taller Enriquez landed the more effective punches during the fight, although Salinas was able to score an occasional left hook to the head.
Towards the end of the third round, Enriquez landed a left hook to Salinas's stomach. Salinas dropped to one knee as Enriquez landed another two punches to the head. Salinas was able to beat the count, but was in no condition to continue, wincing in pain as referee Christian Curiel stopped the bout at 1:59.
In a swing bout, junior flyweight contender Gilberto Parra won an eight round unanimous decision over Jose Rivas.
Parra, who is ranked number 13 by the IBF, stunned Rivas (14-11-4, with 7 KOs) in round four, but was content to outbox Rivas during the second half of the fight.
Scores were 78-74, 78-74, and 78-75 for Parra, who improves to 25-3, with 20 KOs.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for Boxingscene.com since September of 2012 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (Calif.) Star newspaper, RingTV.com, and Knockout Nation. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing