On Saturday night, undefeated Mikey Garcia will take on the veteran WBO Featherweight champ Orlando Salido. It's a great match of styles, pitting the boxer against the slugger.
So, who has the upper hand in this one?
We'll start with Orlando Salido. Salido has a record of 39-11-2 (27 KOs), but he's probably the best 11-loss fighter you'll see in boxing today. He took the majority of those defeats as a young kid fighting on the tough Mexican club circuit, so it's certainly deceiving.
Salido is a pressure fighter, and he's absolutely relentless in his attack. He goes to the body well and doesn't get discouraged if he falls behind early, as he showed in his two excellent slugfests with Juan Manuel Lopez.
Salido's coming into this fight on a five-fight winning streak in which he's stopped all five of his opponents. The main thing with Salido is his intangibles. The guy has experience and knows how to fight, even when he's in with a fighter who has superior talent.
However, he struggles when faced with an opponent who has the discipline and ability to box on the outside, which is just what Mikey Garcia, 30-0 (26 KOs), does. Garcia is only 25 but fights with the calm and patience of a fighter well beyond that age.
Garcia works off the jab very well and picks his shots nicely, not wasting any punches. He's got a ton of power, as evidenced by his KO record. The question is how he will deal with a fighter who has the durability and punch resistance of a guy like Salido.
The blueprint he should follow is found in Salido's two fights against Lopez. Yes, Salido stopped him twice, but there were large stretches when Lopez would outbox Salido with ease. If he had fought that way the whole time, instead of engaging in exchanges, he probably would've defeated Salido.
Garcia is a better boxer than Lopez, and he'll show it in this fight. It's going to be entertaining and close, but Garcia should pull this one out by decision. Salido is a world-class fighter, and he won't make it easy for Garcia, but Mikey's got the superior talent and is on his way up. Garcia will be the featherweight champion when this one's over.