Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Salido - Lopez II - Classic Epic Battle

Before starting with the blog post, I first would like to thank all the people who support this blog. It continues to inspire people as it reaches the 7000 mark despite not having been posting in awhile. Thank you very much.

I would like to talk about the recent match-up on the second fight between Orlando "Siri" Salido against Juan Manuel "Juanma" Lopez. If anyone have watched this match up, you will know why its very much worthy of a review, and if you're one of the people who haven't watched it yet, you'll be awfully sorry you haven't. This fight, is a fight that is created from the fabric of boxing greatness. It has achieved a status for being another classic match-up that is worth the replay for ages to come. We all know that the first fight was kind-of an upset, as Salido delivers Juanma his first loss on a TKO on the eighth round.

The first fight in my opinion, is a good match-up, but never have we expected a better match-up to come in their second fight. I have never felt and watch a boxing match like this in a long time. You could go down to the likes of, Hagler-Hearns, Corrales-Castillo, Gatti-Ward, and a lot of the other fights that were hotly contested which have become iconic match-ups in the world of boxing. Round nine of their recent fight was one of the greatest rounds I have ever seen in my lifetime. Maybe not the greatest, but it's in my top ten. I mean, when have you last seen two fighter's coming at it, nonstop action, and still making it a close round?

I have had my fair share of seeing great fights. My love for boxing allowed me to watch those great fights.. those great fights that despite its age, it still burns every spectator's impression and leaves a mark despite the era's, despite the black and white films, despite the difference of old-school boxing to modern. It's the heart and determination, that brings everyone out of their seats. You can knock a guy down and make a person wobbly to make everyone stand up from their seats, but a really epic battle is a nonstop, see-saw fight that you really don't care who is dominating in every exchanges.

People stand up for these match-ups, because its almost as if these fighters are already fighting in a different realm. It's not about the money, fame, or status. It's about being locked into that moment. Moments that create one of the fondest memories that people, not just boxing fans, relate to in the sport of boxing. In the upcoming retirement of boxing's pound for pound king, Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao, we feel clear and reassured that the sport of boxing will carry on. I talked about it in my previous posts, that the great featherweight era is reincarnating, and we've seen that time and time again in Salido, Lopez, Gamboa, and etc.

The Featherweight division, is a division to watch out for. With the Orlando Salido - Juan Manuel Lopez II completed, I have rested my case. The fight is short of awesome in one word. It is a classic stylistic match-up between a boxer against a slugger. Both fighter's are known punchers, with Lopez having the advantage in speed and technique, and Salido being the more old-school fighter, brawling his way inside and capitalizing with hard shots as Lopez backs to the ropes. We've seen this match-ups before and it really depends on how you utilize your skills.

There is no clear advantage between a boxer against a slugger, you just have to play your cards right. Orlando Salido reminded me of a Mike Tyson, only without the peek-a-boo stance. He would duck punches and land hay-makers relentlessly on his opponents. He also had the ability to lounge in his opponents as he opened up with a hard punch. That may pose a flaw to anyone who pays attention, and would effectively counter these types. Lopez, in my opinion, did not play his cards right. I felt, that he did not have proper timing, that he should have sharp-shoot Salido on the outside, and if he did that, it just showed to be ineffective.

Juan Manuel Lopez is in proper form, and that he could have executed his plans, but Salido just was relentless, and to me, I felt that Lopez did not adjust in the type of confrontation that Salido had fought. Still, it was a great match-up, although I also felt, that Salido was winning the fight. You could clearly see how Lopez gets banged around with hard shots, and is staggering around the ring in each rounds too often, that you should almost always give the rounds to Salido. Good scoring on Lopez on the knock down as Salido was coming in.

If only Lopez had done that type of countering, the fight would have changed, in my opinion. Then came the epic ninth round of their second fight. It was an all out slugfest and since their first exchange in that round, everyone was standing on their feet, and I was shouting here at home as I watched it. Pretty awesome stuff that you don't usually see. I'm just impressed with these fighter's; their status is worthy of future legends in the sport. Despite the stoppage in round 10, as Salido knocked out Lopez. There was no loser in this fight. Everyone's a winner, the fighters, the fans, especially the sport of boxing, in general.

I just hope for more of these match-ups to come.

Final Thoughts:

I think Juan Manuel Lopez did a great job in this match, although defeated. I would still like to watch him fight against Yuriorkis Gamboa. If they do make the match and Lopez wins it, I think a third fight against Salido is acceptable. For now, the king of the featherweight division is not clear. At this point, a second fight of Gamboa against Salido is a good option. Lots of people want to see that fight. I'm just waiting for more fighters of the lower weights to reach this weight class, especially the likes of Nonito Donaire. Like I said in my previous posts, the featherweight division is being prepared for another Golden Age.

For years I have been into the sport, it made me think that Boxing as well as any fight sports is 90% waiting and 10% action. You just hope that good fighters keep coming along, especially with what we've seen right here, and if there were a lot of fights that match up with the same intensity as the recent fight. I think that the 90% waiting is bearable. It would only be wishful thinking if we could ever ask for more in life.Yet its a blessing in disguise, that we never ever get bored in watching great fights, because only few of these fights are made that way, and that is why legends are legends, and is treated in such respect, and that is why, for the longest time in history and despite every controversy that surrounds it, boxing is great.

Picture: Orlando "Siri" Salido landing one of his few jabs against Juan Manuel "Juanma" Lopez in their second fight, held in Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan.