In the first of two world title fights in the US this weekend Mexican Orlando Salido (40-12-2-1, 28) defeated his namesake Orlando Cruz (20-3-1, 10) and claimed the WBO Featherweight title as we added yet another chapter to the excellent Mexico/Puerto Rico rivalry.
Unfortunately this wasn't one of those legendary Mexico/Puerto Rican contests however as it seemed one sided from the off with Cruz fighting like, and looking like a beaten man before the opening bell. In fact Cruz almost seemed to refuse to look at Salido as the referee gave his final instructions.
The opening round further saw Cruz looking scared. He tried to jab and move though looked apprehensive from the off, almost as if he was terrified of being hit by Salido whilst Salido himself seemed to be trying to figure out what he had in front of him.Although the first round was quiet from both men it was certainly a round that Salido won by virtue of doing something as opposed to nothing.
After taking the opening round Salido went on a roll taking rounds 2,3 and 4 as he moved up through the gears letting shots go up close and walking through the weak looking attack of Cruz who appeared almost scared of putting his weight behind a shot. The fact Cruz didn't have the fire power to keep Salido honest saw the Mexican coming in and unloading to the body and head at will, with the body a very clear target early on.
By the end of round 4 the body work of Salido seemed to be paying dividends as Cruz began to hold his feet. It appeared as if the end was nigh though Cruz then had his best round in round 5 as he moved well and clearly won the round making Salido look clumsy. It was odd that Cruz, who had started to slow in round 4 would have his best round in the fifth though it was a sign of the Puerto Rican's heart.
Unfortunately for Cruz it was fair to say that the fourth round was his successful one as Salido turned it on in round 6 with a very intelligent and accurate attack. The ineffectiveness of round 5 was well forgotten as Salido walked him down and landed some lovely combinations as he destroyed what was left of Cruz's confidence
Although Cruz was still standing at the end of the sixth he was starting to get beaten up and whilst he was showing fantastic heart his body was starting to break down. The destruction of Cruz's body was complete in the seventh with a devastating body that left him down in agony forcing the referee to wave it off.
With Vasyl Lomachenko getting past Jose Ramirez on the undercard it would appear likely that Salido will be defending against the Ukrainian superstar. For Cruz however this almost certainly ends his dream of ever being a world champion