The WBO World Super Featherweight title will be on the line Saturday night at the Coliseo Jose Miguel Agrelot in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as current titleholder Orlando Salido faces former champion Roman Martinez. Salido is a hard-working Mexican veteran with a (42-12-2) record whose career upsurge in recent years started with his violent stoppage of Puerto Rico’s then-undefeated champion Juan Manuel Lopez in April of 2011. Lopez was favored heading into the fight, as he was a two division world champion with a terrific KO ratio, but it all came apart as Salido turned the fight into a slugfest and got the stoppage. Lopez won a bounce-back fight, and then as a vested ex-champion he got his re-match with Salido in March of 2012, also in Puerto Rico, and Salido stopped him again. Though Lopez would continue fighting, several other severe KO’s have sent the former hero into retirement, and Salido will always be remembered on the island as the guy who signaled “JuanMa”s downfall. In January of 2013 he lost the WBO World title at Featherweight to Mikey Garcia, but he won it again in October by beating Orlando Cruz. He kept the belt against Ukraine’s Vasyl Lomachenko, one of the mostly highly decorated amateurs of modern times by relying on his bread and butter – making a technical fighter brawl. He moved up to Super Featherweight where he captured the WBO World title at that weight in his ast outing, a win over Terdsak Kokiegym in September. But Martinez has been in the world title picture since he first won the WBO World Super Featherweight title from Nicky Cook in March of 2009. He lost the belt to Ricky Burns, but re-captured the vacant belt by beating Miguel Beltran Jr in Las Vegas. In November of 2013 he lost the title to Mikey Garcia, and he then took a little over a year off before returning with a second round KO of Herbert Quartey (12-9) back in December. The first time he won the belt was in England, and he lost it there as well. For the second reign, Martinez won and lost the belt in the United States. As he goes for a third title reign, this will be his first attempt to win the title in Puerto Rico. That the opponent is Salido, with his reputation as the slayer of Lopez, should make it all the more motivational. Perhaps that Salido is coming up in weight will help Martinez use his power (17 KO stoppages) but Salido is also known for his ability to take punishment. Right now, the line at the books has the fight very close, with Martinez paying at (-105) and Salido paying back (-135). There is no over/under set for the fight. The live event features 9 fights and the main portion of the card is set to air on Direct TV in the United States.
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