By Ryan Burton
Miguel "Mickey" Roman (58-13, 45 KOs) brought new life to his career with a spectacular and dominant ninth-round technical knockout victory against four-time, two division world champion Orlando "Siri" Salido (44-14, 31 KOs) in a Fight of the Year Candidate and main event of HBO Boxing After Dark at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas.
Roman, a native of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, scored knockdowns in rounds four and eight before the fight was finally stopped at 1:43 of the ninth round after a fight-finishing flurry sent Salido to the canvas for the last time in his career. Photos by Ed Mulholland/HBO.
"It's my moment, and I want to fight against any champion," said Roman.
"I was doing everything well, even though everything is always against me. But things will change from now on. That's why I want any champion at featherweight or super featherweight, but on HBO. The new camp, the good work we did, the good training--those changes made the difference and we are all able to see that tonight. Nobody knew, but if I lost, I would have retired. It was very important to fight against a great champion like Orlando Salido and win."
Francisco "El Bandido" Vargas (24-2, 17 KOs) scored a ninth-round technical unanimous decision victory against Stephen "Swifty" Smith (25-4, 15 KOs) of Liverpool, United Kingdom in a scheduled 10-round super featherweight bout.
Vargas, a native of Mexico City, Mexico, tried the new boxing skills that he has learned under his new trainer Joel Diaz. However, the fight was cut a bit short in the ninth round after a severe laceration on Smith's left ear called a halt to the fight. Vargas was victorious with scores of 89-82, 88-83 and 88-83.