By Steve Kim
Veteran warhorse Orlando Salido will face the tough Mikey Roman on December 9th at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas in what will be the headliner of an HBO triple-header. Originally, Salido was slated to face WBC 130-pound belt-holder, Miguel Berchelt, who pulled out claiming a hand injury.
As that occured, efforts were made to have Francisco Vargas step in his place to face Salido again.
The two waged war in June of 2016 in what was the 'fight of the year' that ended in a draw at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. Vargas and his team turned down the offer for a second go-around.
Which flabbergasted Sean Gibbons, the adviser for Salido, who told BoxingScene.com - "Absolutely, I look back at the first fight and I see signs now that I don't think Francisco Vargas ever, ever wants to see Orlando Salido again. He's been offered the fight again two or three times, they keep talking about tune-ups which is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.
"He has a manager in Ralph Heredia that can not recognize that Francisco Vargas should be in nothing but major fights because the guy can lose in a championship fight, he can lose in a tune-up fight. But to blow opportunities to fight a 37-year old guy with a million miles on the odometer, to run away from Orlando Salido - it's just embarrassing."
So now he faces Roman, who like Salido is a rugged, hard-nosed brawler.
"He puts his head on your chest and bangs away where as Vargas you can box him and you know somewhere along the way the guys going to be bleeding all over the place. So yeah, Mikey Roman is a tough fight for anybody," said Gibbons.
So what would 2018 have in store for 'Siri' should he come out victorious?
"Orlando's very disappointed that a champion like Miguel Berchelt, who's 25 years old had to pull out on him," explained Gibbons. "He said he had a hand problem, maybe he did, maybe he didn't, maybe he just wasn't motivated. Maybe he seen Orlando Salido training with Memo Heredia and you have instead of a 37-year old guy, a guy who's fighting like a 25 year old guy.
"So we would still love to fight for the WBC title, we had a signed contract. If the WBO presents itself, we're up for that. We're up for the biggest and best fights, we're not looking for tune-ups like Francisco Vargas. We want real fights."
Steve Kim is the news editor for BoxingScene.com.