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Warriors bring la guerra to Las Vegas Saturday, HBO Boxing

Written By | Dec 8, 2017
(L to R) Saturday's all-action Las Vegas card: Jaime Munguia, Denis Shafikov, Francisco Vargas, Tevin Farmer, Orlando Salido, Miguel Roman, Kenichi Ogawa, Stephen Smith, Rene Alvarado, Paul Valenzuela. Photo: Zanfer Promotions

(L to R) Saturday’s all-action Las Vegas card: Jaime Munguia, Denis Shafikov, Francisco Vargas, Tevin Farmer, Orlando Salido, Miguel Roman, Kenichi Ogawa, Stephen Smith, Rene Alvarado, Paul Valenzuela. Photo: Zanfer Promotions

SAN DIEGO, Calif., December 8, 2017 – Two very different boxing cards will take place on Saturday night in the United States. One features two of the finest technicians in boxing at Madison Square Garden, fighting for pound for pound supremacy. It’s a fight for fans who value craft. But for boxing fans with an appetite for destruction who crave the “Mexican Style” all action fights, the HBO Boxing After Dark event at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas will give them all they can handle.

It’s a rare individual in boxing who can still headline a card with 13 losses on his record. That’s Orlando “Siri” Salido of Sonora, Mexico (44-13-4, 31 KOs). He is a four time world champion in two weight divisions, and a participant in the undisputed 2016 Fight of the Year. He was originally supposed to face super featherweight champion Miguel Berchelt of Mexico, but when Berchelt injured his hand, another worthy Mexican warrior, Miguel “Mickey” Roman (57-12, 44 KOs) of Chihuahua agreed to step in.

Yes, that’s 75 knockouts between the two.

Orlando Salido and Francisco Vargas put on the 2016 Fight of the Year fans won't soon forget. Photo: Will Hart, HBO Boxing

Orlando Salido and Francisco Vargas put on the 2016 Fight of the Year fans won’t soon forget. Photo: Will Hart, HBO Boxing

Salido has only fought one bout since the June 2016 fight with Francisco Vargas. The layoff was a smart move by Salido, who at age 37 probably doesn’t have too many wars left in him.




“I want to thank my trainer Santos Moreno for all his help. We know we’re in a very difficult fight and expect the best of Miguel Roman. There will be a fight in the ring on Saturday night and the fans know to expect that,” said Salido at the final news conference.

Roman, age 32, is coming off a 12-round TKO win following a rough 12-round knockout loss to the tough Takashi Miura in January. Like Salido, winning is important but secondary to a great show.

Orlando Salido (left) hopes to return to form after an 18 month layoff against Miguel Roman. Photo: Zanfer Promotions

“I’m very grateful for this opportunity and want to thank everyone involved. Thanks to HBO for putting this show together and putting me in the main event. My training was great with Rudy Hernandez and we’re prepared for the fight. I have a great deal of respect for Orlando Salido and that’s why I’ve trained so hard.”

Salido is favored in this fight, and while it’s sure to be entertaining, it will be intriguing to see who Salido faces next. Fans would love to see him in a rematch against Vasyl Lomachenko, especially if he wins his bout against Guillermo Rigondeaux in New York the same night. Salido is the only loss on Lomachenko’s professional record; Lomachenko currently holds the WBO title once held by Salido. Or he may decide instead to make another match with Miguel Berchelt to get the WBC belt which he failed to win in his war with Francisco Vargas.

Tevin Farmer of Philadelphia (left) faces Kenichi Ogawa of Japan in his first title fight Saturday. Photo: Zanfer Promotions HBO Boxing

Tevin Farmer of Philadelphia (left) faces Kenichi Ogawa of Japan in his first title fight Saturday. Photo: Zanfer Promotions

Tevin Farmer (25-4-1, 5 KOs) of Philadelphia gets his first title shot against Kenichi Ogawa of Japan (22-1, 17 KOs) for the vacant IBF super featherweight title. It will be Farmer’s first 12-round bout. It’s a big step up for the 27-year-old, whose biggest victory came against Ivan Redkach last July. Ogawa is fighting outside Japan for the first time. While a virtual unknown, Japanese fighters are known for being tough as nails and just as determined. It’s a perfect addition to the TV card.

“Saturday night is a big night for me,” said Farmer. “I’ve worked very hard for a long time to become a world champion. I’ve earned my spot and I’m ready to become a world champion. I’ve watch Ogawa’s tapes, I’m sure he’s coming to win but I will be victorious on Saturday night.”

“Thanks very much to HBO and Teiken Promotions and Tom Loeffler. I’m not here as tourist, I’m here to win and go home a champion,” said Ogawa. If there’s an upset, it’s likely to come in this fight.

Francisco Vargas (left) of Mexico needs to look good Saturday against Stephen Smith of Liverpool, making his American debut. Photo: Zanfer Promotions HBO Boxing

Francisco Vargas (left) of Mexico needs to look good Saturday against Stephen Smith of Liverpool, making his American debut. Photo: Zanfer Promotions

Opening the HBO broadcast, Vargas (23-1-2, 17 KOs) joins Salido on the televised portion of this card, returning from his only loss in January to Berchelt in January to face Stephen Smith of Great Britain (25-3, 15 KOs). Vargas didn’t look good against Berchelt, who systematically took him apart before the fight was stopped. Vargas needs to look good against Smith, whose record includes losses to Jason Sosa and Jose Pedraza. It is his debut in the United States.

I’m excited to get back in the ring,” said Vargas, “I took some time off but I’m ready to go now. I’m also very happy for the training that I’ve had with my new trainer Joel Diaz. I’m ready to give all the fans an action-packed fight and a great fight.”

“I’m very excited to be fighting in Las Vegas and against such a formidable foe in Francisco Vargas,” said Smith. “Camp in England has been great and I’m ready to put on a show for the fans watching on HBO.”



Denis Shafikov (left) hopes to get back in the winning column against Rene Alvarado. Photo: Zanfer Promotions

Denis Shafikov (left) hopes to get back in the winning column against Rene Alvarado. Photo: Zanfer Promotions

Also on the card and being televised on the HBO Latino Boxing telecast. Denis Shafikov (38-3-1, 20 KOs) of Russia faces off against Rene Alvarado (27-8, 19 KOs) of Nicaragua in a ten-round junior lightweight bout; and ,

undefeated junior middleweight prospect Jaime Munguia of Tijuana, Mexico (25-0-0, 21 KOs), faces Paul Valenzuela (20-6, 14 KOs) of Mexico in a scheduled eight round bout.

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is a veteran boxing observer covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Read more Ringside Seat in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on Facebook and on Twitter @PRProSanDiego.

Please credit “Gayle Falkenthal for Communities Digital News” when quoting from or linking to this story.  

Copyright © 2017 by Falcon Valley Group

 

Gayle Falkenthal

Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, MS, APR, is President of the Falcon Valley Group, a San Diego based communications consulting firm. Falkenthal is a veteran award-winning broadcast and print journalist, editor, producer, talk host and commentator. She is an instructor at National University in San Diego, and previously taught in the School of Journalism & Media Studies at San Diego State University.