As part of an exciting HBO Boxing After Dark card, Mikey Garcia and Orlando Salido will clash for the vacant WBO Featherweight title on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden.
This contest is a nice style mix that should be an entertaining fight.
The 32-year-old Salido has the edge in experience, and he is seven years older than Garcia. His record is 39-11 with 27 KOs, but most of his losses came very early in his career.
He is 25-3-1 since 2002.
That recent record includes two exciting victories over Juan Manuel Lopez and a loss to Yuriorkis Gamboa. He did score a knockdown against Gamboa, though it looked more like a slip.
He has solidified himself as a top-notch featherweight.
Garcia's record is an unblemished 30-0 with an impressive 26 KOs to his credit. He is one of the most exciting young prospects in the sport.
If he is victorious, this will be his first major world championship. He has stopped Bernabe Concepcion, Mauricio Pastrana and Juan Carlos Martinez inside his last five fights, and he looks to be headed for superstardom.
Salido will try to derail him, just as he did the once-undefeated Lopez. Here's how you can see the fight, and some deeper analysis into the matchup.
When: Saturday, January 19, 9:45 p.m. ET
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York
TV: HBO and TV Azteca (Mexico)
The Book on Salido
Siri wants to exchange and brawl on the inside. He pounds the body very well, has excellent conditioning and has a remarkable chin.
Some of the shots he absorbed against Lopez were amazing.
These were the same punches that Lopez was taking every other opponent out with. He came into the first fight with Salido 30-0 with 27 KOs, but he could not get the better of most of the exchanges through two fights.
Salido wore him down and stopped him on both occasions. Here is a look at both victories over Lopez.
Salido doesn't possess great hand or foot speed, but he has excellent timing in his counterpunches. Unless he has an opponent physically outclassed—which is rare—he digs to the body to take their legs away.
When he's at his best, his opponents succumb to the constant pressure. He'll be looking to employ that strategy against Garcia.
The Book on Garcia
If I used one word to describe Garcia, it would be smooth.
He has an excellent jab, and he brings the straight right down the middle very well. Generally, the adjective "smooth" doesn't usually apply to a power puncher, but it fits here.
Garcia can thump with the best featherweights in the world. Take a look at the straight right hand that takes Pastrana off his feet at the 7:47 mark of this video.
When you watch him, his demeanor can almost lull you to sleep, but it is that calmness that makes him so dangerous.
Salido will be charged with making Garcia fight faster, and more panicked than he's accustomed to. It is difficult to dictate tempo when your opponent is more skilled and quicker.
That is the case in this matchup.
Garcia's jab, foot movement and power are the keys to maintaining a controlled tempo.
Salido is too good of a fighter to be completely embarrassed, but Garcia is too skilled for him. Fighters who can move and use the jab will always give Salido a problem.
The fact that Garcia is also bringing significant power to the table only makes things more difficult for Salido.
He won't knock him out, but Garcia will earn a clear unanimous decision.
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