Orlando Salido is 32, has been a pro for 17 years, and started boxing when he was 10. But no, he doesn't think the mileage has broken him down.
"I feel better now," he told ESPN New York at a news conference held Thursday at MSG, ahead of his Saturday clash against Mikey Garcia.
Point blank, I asked him why Salido would beat the 25 year-old Garcia. "Experience," said the 126-pound champ. "I'm a champion and I want to keep that a long time."
So, will an edge in volume be another key to victory? "Yes, overwhelming him is key," Salido said. "I'm not going to let him think. All of his opponents have let him do that. I'm not going to let him do that."
Garcia is a solid technician, Salido allowed, but doesn't move that well or that much, and won't like the pressure. He is the best that Garcia has faced, and that makes Salido confident, he stated.
Garcia strikes me as a humble guy. He said that humility comes from his parents, who picked strawberries in the fields for more than 15 years and taught their kids to be respectful. In the ring, though, Garcia said he can flip on a switch. He knows the other guy wants to knock his head off, so he has no problem doing the same.
He said his best trait is that he is "observant," and he believes he's "more patient" than Salido. He won't just wait for Salido to make a mistake, he said, but will also force the issue when he sees fit.
Readers, feel free to drop your prediction in the comment box. I see this as a coin-flip fight, but believe that Garcia has a power edge. If he stays calm as Salido throws a hundred punches a round, I expect him to dent the champ's chin and get the W.