By: Jerome Souza (@Jerome510)
Thanks to Golden Boy Promotions and HBO Boxing, fans will be treated to an end of the year action fight with two junior lightweight sluggers battling it out for a chance of redemption against former foe and current WBC junior lightweight titleholder Francisco Vargas. Orlando Salido is 0-1-2 is in his last three bouts in which he came up even in fights to Roman Martinez and Vargas. After his 2015 Fight of the Year performance against Vargas as the co-feature of the Canelo Alvarez – Miguel Cotto pay-per-view, Takashi Miura returned to his native country of Japan to record a knockout victory over unknown Jimmy Borbon. This bout between Miura and Salido will be for the interim WBC junior lightweight title and will be held at the Forum in Inglewood, California as the main event for HBO Boxing After Dark. The Forum has most recently hosted matches headlined by both Gennady Glolovkin and Roman Gonzalez.
I expect nothing but action from Salido and Miura. Salido knows that he cannot leave anymore fights in the hands of judges as its been over two years since his last victory. Miura must capitalize on early opportunities and finish Salido if he gets lucky with power shots. In Miura’s fight with Vargas, Miura gave Vargas the first knockdown of Vargas’ career in the fourth round. However, Vargas withstood the punishment and came back with a memorable ninth round technical knockout of Miura.
Once the victor of Salido-Miura solidifies their date with Vargas, it would be hard to not focus ones attention to the winner of Lomachenko-Walters which will be for Lomachenko’s WBO version of the junior lightweight title. Walters had taken a lot of criticism for not accepting a fight with Lomachenko when he was initially offered it earlier this year. Lomachecko even taunted Walters stating that he would give Walters a portion of his purse. But at 30 years old, Walters, like everyone in the boxing world, sees the improvement of Lomachenko in every fight and knows that he must get the most money possible for the because if Lomachenko wins, it will be an uphill climb for his next title opportunity.
We would all hope the junior lightweight WBO and WBC titleholders meet sometime next year to unify the belts. This would again make for great boxing and would provide HBO with more quality fights. This is one of most intriguing divisions in boxing with this group of five men having history between with them having fought each other already or at least wanting to fight each other. Lomachenko still wants revenge against Salido for giving him his lone loss in his second professional fight back in March of 2014. Miura and Salido would also covet a second chance against Vargas, which is almost but a guarantee for the winner on December 17. No matter who ends up victorious, all the matches will be exciting.
In an early prediction, I see Salido, being the 35 year old veteran of 60 professional fights, wearing down the 32 year old Miura for a late stoppage. Miura will be game and have his moments early on, but Salido will use his veteran smarts to tire Miura for a technical knockout.
HBO boxing will give fans a steady dose of quality fights with Kovalev-Ward on November 19th, Lomachenko-Walters on November 26th, and Salido-Miura on December 17. The only fight yet to be announced is the worst kept secret in boxing with Middleweight titleholder Gennady Glovokin and the reserved date of December 10th in New York. If the GGG fight comes to fruition, fans will be able to enjoy the best two months of boxing in that we have seen in the last few years.by