A Look At Salido-Miura
By: Brandon Bernica
This past week, a knuckle-loaded slugfest between veterans Orlando Salido and Takashi Miura was finalized for December 17th. Instantly, the boxing world rejoiced at the pairing, familiar with the intensity with which each man fights with.
Salido (43-13-4), the grizzled veteran from Mexico, had made a name for himself for being in all-action fights. His mixed draw with Francisco Vargas this year was considered the fight of this year by many ringside observers. The former two-division champion also holds longstanding rivalries with Juan Manuel Lopez and Roman Martinez, engaging in crowd-pleasing affairs with each man.
Salido’s biggest win came against one of the greatest amateurs of all-time, Vasyl Lomachenko, in a controversial bout. In Lomachenko’s second pro outing, Salido edged the fight on the cards despite weighing in overweight and firing a string of low blows.
Meanwhile Miura (30-3-2) shares a common opponent with Salido in Vargas. Miura led much of that fight until Vargas turned the tables and knocked him out in an entertaining finish. Wins over Gamaliel Diaz, Billy Dib, and Sergio Thompson punctuate the Japanese fighter’s solid career. His only other loss came at the hands of his native rival Takashi Uchiyama in Japan.
Salido-Miura promises nothing but non-stop action. Both fighters thrive on wearing their opponents out in grueling wars of attrition. The caveat here is that each man has also shown vulnerability in past fights. Both men are open to be hit and have been knocked out in the past. You can all but guarantee the fight will either be a long, taxing battle or a quick, explosive fight.
One angle of the promotion I would love to see uncovered is the budding rivalry between Japan and Mexico. Both countries sport fighting cultures that celebrate fighting with guts and gusto, pressing forward until your opponent calls mercy. With classic fights between the two countries in recent years such as Arakawa-Figueroa, Kamegai-Soto Karass and Miura-Vargas, the evidence begs the question: why don’t we explore this rivalry more? Clearly, it works, and it can expose U.S. fans to a rich boxing scene in Japan that often flies under the radar.
2016 has been rough for boxing, to say the least. Fighters continue to rot in the throes of inactivity, pining for an opportunity to advance their careers. Just as we’re about to lose all the hope attached to our boxing fandom, we get fights like this one that restore our faith in the sport. We recall those earliest of fights in our memories that drew us to the action in the ring, a grotesque display of fisticuffs that, for some reason, we can’t take our eyes off of. If Salido-Miura fails to meet our expectations, boxing in 2016 will end much like how it played out throughout the year: disappointingly.