Orlando Salido-Rocky Martinez in the works
Talks are ongoing for a potential junior lightweight bout in March between Mexican three-time titlist Orlando Salido and Puerto Rican two-time beltholder Rocky Martinez, according to Salido’s manager, Sean Gibbons.
Gibbons has been in discussion for the bout, which could land in Puerto Rico, with Martinez’s promoter, Peter Rivera, of PR Best Boxing.
“That is correct. I was in Puerto Rico over the weekend to see how we could financially make the fight happen,” said Gibbons of Zanfer Promotions, which works with Salido. “Because we do not have HBO or Showtime, that is the issue. We are both fine with the fight otherwise.”
Called “a very exciting fighter” by Top Rank Promotions CEO Bob Arum, Salido (42-12-2, 29 knockouts) is coming off September’s seven-knockdown, 11th-round stoppage of Terdsak Kokietgym, representing his junior lightweight debut.
Kokietgym, whose seven-fight winning streak came to an end, was floored in the first, fourth, seventh and final rounds before referee Eddie Claudio waved an end to the bout at the 16-second mark.
Entering the bout with Kokietgym, Salido was coming off a split decision victory over Vasyl Lomachenko in March before which Salido had already lost his WBO featherweight title on the scales prior to the fight.
Gibbons said Salido’s popularity soared during a run of five straight stoppages, beginning with an eighth round technical knockout that dethroned Juan Manuel Lopez as WBO 126-pound titleholder in April 2011, and including his 10th round technical knockout of Lopez in March 2012. Each of the victories over Lopez were contested in “JuanMa’s” native Puerto Rico.
“Salido’s second-most popular place to fight would be Puerto Rico,” said Gibbons of Salido, 34. “If we could financially make something happen with Rocky Martinez, we would love to go back to Puerto Rico, where he’s treated like a world champion.”
Since being dethroned as WBO titleholder following a unanimous decision to Ricky Burns in September of 2010, Martinez is 4-1-1 with two knockouts and has been involved in three split decisions, one being a draw.
Martinez, 31, regained the vacant belt with a split decision over Miguel Beltran Jr. in September 2012, battled to the draw with Juan Carlos Burgos in January 2013 and successfully defended it once more with a split decision over previously undefeated Diego Magdaleno in April 2013.
Martinez lost that title in his next bout in November of last year following an eighth round stoppage loss to Garcia despite scoring a second round knockdown. In his last fight on Dec. 20, Martinez knocked out Herbert Quartey in the second round.