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Arum accuses Salido of cold feet for Lomachenko rematch

Photo by: Mikey Williams/Top Rank
Fighters Network

Those hoping for a sequel to Vasyl Lomachenko’s close loss to Orlando Salido in 2014 will have to wait after promoter Bob Arum accused Salido of getting cold feet for a rematch.

“Orlando Salido chickened out,” Arum told on Tuesday. “It’s the only way to say it. He asked for crazy money. We agreed to the crazy money. And then he says, ‘No.’ He’d just assume not take the fight. Why? Because he knows he can’t beat (Lomachenko). It was a fluke the first time. So, there’s no other way to paint it. Orlando Salido chickened out of the fight because whatever his demands were, we met those financial demands and then he let us know he’s not interested in the fight.”

Sean Gibbons, who manages Salido, laughed off Arum’s comments, saying the negotiations just fell apart and that no one got cold feet. “Using Orlando’s name and chicken in the same sentence — that’s ludicrous,” Gibbons said in a phone interview. “Olando has never chickened out of any fight. We had good talks with Bob. I thought we had come to some kind of an agreement. It just didn’t seem to work. Orlando Salido wants to give the fans the fights they want. And I don’t hear any fans clamoring for Salido-Lomachenko.”

Gibbons believes fans would rather see a rematch of the June 4 war involving 130-pound titleholder Francisco Vargas and Salido than against Lomachenko, who lost a split decision to an overweight Salido in a rough, physical affair. “Things didn’t work out,” Gibbons said. “Orlando voiced to me, ‘Hey, why do I want to fight a guy in Lomachenko who I know is going to run, grab and hold when I can go Mexican-to-Mexican with Francisco Vargas and give the people what they really want see. The only guys who want to see Lomachenko — are Lomachenko.”

Arum declined to get into specifics on Salido’s demands and Gibbons also declined to get into dollar amounts. As a result, Lomachenko (7-1, 5 knockouts) will look for another opponent for the first quarter of 2017 on HBO, which is considering dates in March or April for the gifted Ukrainian 130-pound titleholder. “Lomachenko will fight in March,” Arum said. “Carl (Moretti, VP of Top Rank) is looking for an opponent and we’re looking toward the end of March.”

Salido, for his part, is chasing the rematch with Vargas and won’t know his plans until after Jan. 28, when Vargas defends his junior lightweight title against Miguel Berchelt, according to Gibbons.