On Friday, Orlando “Siri” Salido (41-12-2) lost the WBO featherweight title on the scales. On Saturday, he defeated an overmatched Vasyl Lomachenko (1-1) at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, by split decision to take some of the sting away.
Though he was very celebrated as an amateur, it’s clear Lomachenko isn’t ready to be considered an elite professional. He didn't have the goods to defeat the wily Mexican veteran.
The official scorecards were as followed, per HBO.
Salido didn’t make weight for the fight, so he surrendered $15,000, and the title is now vacant. But he did prove that Lomachenko at least needs more seasoning before he’s fit to challenge for another world title.
The fight was ugly and messy the whole way through, and that’s just the way Salido wanted it. ESPN’s Dan Rafael and HBO’s Max Kellerman talked about Siri’s tactics:
Many of Salido’s shots ventured low during the fight, but the body shots that landed north of the border bothered Lomachenko. Referee Laurence Cole did not make his presence felt at all, though.
Salido was not warned enough for his low blows, and both fighters were allowed to hold excessively. Steve Kim of MaxBoxing.com had an excellent point that talks about both ignored infractions.
If you mix in all of those factors, it made for a pretty difficult fight to score and watch.
I had it 115-113 for Salido. After the fight, Lomachenko told Kellerman he thought he won the bout during the post-fight interview.
Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix didn’t hold back his criticism of Cole’s refereeing. He tweeted this just before the end of the bout:
It’s hard to say whether things would have been different with another referee, but if you were grading Cole for his performance, it would be hard to go any higher than a "D."
Many fight fans and analyst seemed to like the fact that Lomachenko fell short in his pursuit of a title. By looking for gold in just his second bout, he and his camp have received the label of arrogant and privileged.
Mannix says the loss served him right.
From here Salido will almost certainly move up to 130 pounds after failing to make weight. Even though he lost the title, the win over Lomachenko will get him a nice bout to begin his career in a new weight class.
As for Lomachenko, he’s still just 26 years old. He has time to improve, but in the biggest showcase of his very young career, he fell flat. It’ll take a string of great performances for him to regain the buzz he had.
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