By Brando Chacon (@brondoo34)
PUERTO RICO — Saturday night, in El Coliseo Jose Miguel Agrelot in San Juan, Puerto Rico, a new chapter in the historically rich Mexico-Puerto Rico rivalry will take place. It’s the biggest rivalry in boxing and has showcased some amazing fights like Salvador Sanchez vs. Wilfredo Gomez, Trinidad vs. Vargas, Julio Cesar Chavez vs. Edwin Rosario and most recently Orlando Salido vs. Juan Manuel Lopez.
Mexican brawler, Orlando “Siri” Salido (42-12-2, 29 KO’s), the current WBO Super Featherweight Champion, will reignite this rivalry with a showdown against former WBO Super Featherweight Champion, Puerto Rico’s own Roman “Rocky” Martinez (28-2-2, 17 KO’s). The fight will take place in Martinez’s backyard, of Puerto Rico, but Salido won’t see this as a disadvantage or just ask Juan Manuel Lopez himself. Salido KO a previously undefeated JuanMa in Puerto Rico and in a rematch, Salido KO him out again in Puerto Rico, these were some of Salido’s greatest wins. Salido is now known around the boxing world as the man who ended Juan Manuel Lopez’s career, but I digress.
Martinez, 32 years old, is a tough rugged fighter whose only two losses have come against Mexican-American Mikey Garcia and Scotland’s own Ricky Burns, however in those two losses Martinez was able to knock both Garcia and Burns down at least once. After the Garcia loss in late 2013, Martinez took a year off and came back towards the end of last year with an easy KO win over a journeyman. Before the Garcia fight, Martinez defeated the previously undefeated prospect Diego Magdaleno (23-0, at the time) in Macao, China.
Salido is 34 years old but is an old 34 due to the numerous wars he has been in. His come-forward style he is very susceptible to being knocked down and has been knocked down countless times before, receiving a lot of wear and tear. All of this is due to his determination and style that Salido carries. He is an aggressive, take-2-land-1 punch kind of fighter, he doesn’t mind getting hit as long as he is able to land his punches. This style makes him a very exciting and can’t-miss-tv type of fighter.
Over his career, Salido has also been in the ring with a lot of top fighters like, Juan Manuel Lopez, Roberto Guerrero, Yuriorkis Gamboa, Juan Manuel Lopez, Mikey Garcia and more recently he had a SD win over boxing sensation Vasyl Lomachenko (3-1, 1 KO).
Martinez also has this, aggressive, come-forward style but he has more technical ability than Salido. Salido’s camp had numerous offers on the table but choose Martinez due to his more aggressive approach. They didn’t want Salido in the ring with an awkward fighter and wanted someone who isn’t too hard to find.
Picking a winner in this fight can be tricky, it isn’t a clear cut fight. Salido may be the favorite going into the fight but he has been through some wars, which takes a toll on the body since he gets hit very often. Salido, however has a tremendous heart and will power, and is almost willing to die in the ring before he quits. He also has a very disruptive boxing style, meaning Salido has the ability to disrupt other boxer’s game plans. Against Lomachenko, Salido did a lot to disrupt him, he used some dirty tactics that threw Lomachenko off his game plan.
Martinez is the better boxer in this fight and has the better jab, if he can use his jab effectively he can make it a very difficult fight for Salido. This is one of those fights where neither outcome should shock anyone. Salido-Martinez is sure to produce some fireworks in San Juan and can potentially be one of the better fights in 2015. but I have to give Martinez the slight edge in this one.by