Salido vs. Garcia: Takeaways from Dominant Performance by New Champion

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2013

Jan 19, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Miguel Angel Garcia (left) and Orlando Salido (right) box during their WBO World Featherweight Title bout at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. Garcia won via unanimous decision after an accidental head butt to Garcia stopped the fight in the ninth round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The WBO crowned a new featherweight champion when Miguel Angel "Mikey" Garcia soundly defeated reigning champion Orlando Salido by technical decision in the eighth round on Saturday. 

The fight was forced to the scorecards prematurely in what was a slightly bizarre ending after a Salido headbutt broke Garcia's nose and halted the fight. The scorecards unanimously deemed Garcia the winner and new champion as the 25-year-old claimed his first world title. 

This fight was expected to be close, but Garcia put on a highly impressive performance. Here's what we learned about the newly crowned champion. 


Garcia Was Much Better Than Salido

The ending may have been a bit murky, but make no mistake—this fight was not close. 

Garcia got off to a great start, flooring Salido two times in the first round, and he didn't slow down. He sent Salido to the canvas in the third and fourth rounds as well. He controlled the fight from bell to bell. 

Public perception may have been that Salido and Garcia would match up well with one another, but Garcia made a huge statement.

He didn't just win. He won in convincing fashion. 

This wasn't a knockout victory, but it was as close as Garcia could get. 


Salido Must Regroup

Salido was at the pinnacle of his career heading into this fight. 

After a loss in 2010 to Yuriorkis Gamboa, Salido rebounded to win five consecutive fights, all by knockout. That impressive streak included two wins over Juan Manuel Lopez.

Salido appeared to be a legitimate champion. 

All of that momentum is now gone after this lopsided loss, but Salido can't allow this fight to beat him twice. 

Many fighters might allow a loss like this to set them back even further with a lackluster follow-up performance. Salido has to avoid that and come back stronger next time. 


Garcia Could Be a Dominant Champion

You never want to put too much stock in just one fight, but Garcia put the rest of the featherweight division on notice with this win. 

On paper, there aren't many challengers who can bring the kind of resume to the table that Salido did, and Garcia made it look like they didn't belong in the same ring. 

Garcia has compiled an undefeated record of 31-0 in his career, so it isn't earth-shattering news that he won, but his domination of a quality opponent like Salido says he will be tough to unseat as the champion.