Julie Jacobson/Associated Press
He may walk into the ring on Saturday night as the champion, but he's really there as an opponent with a title he's expected to lose. That places the rugged 33-year-old Mexican in the role of spoiler, and given his past history, you can bet he's just fine with that.
Salido captured the vacant WBO Featherweight Championship, his third 126-pound title, in October by steamrolling Orlando Cruz on the Bradley vs. Marquez undercard. His overall record may have a distinct blue-collar look to it, but don't underestimate him. He's 26-4 in his past 30 fights, and he's an easy out for nobody.
But, still, Salido must be feeling a bit like Top Rank's sacrificial lamb at this point. Last January, he was set up to lose his WBO title to rising star Mikey Garcia at the Theater at Madison Square Garden. He did, and barely a year later, he's expected to do the same thing against yet another future Top Rank star.
He is considered by many to be the best amateur fighter in the history of boxing, and you'd have a very difficult time making a counterpoint to that argument. His promoter Bob Arum, per The Ring Magazine , says that question is settled, and he's been around boxing for nearly five decades.
The 26-year-old Ukrainian dominated the amateur ranks, posting an absurd 396-1 record, per BoxRec, and twice avenged his lone defeat. He captured Olympic gold in Beijing and London and is a four-time winner of the World Amateur Championships.
Lomachenko will be attempting to win a world title in just his second professional fight. Salido is definitely a world-class fighter—still easily one of the best featherweights on the planet—and this represents a huge leap into the deep end of the pool.