Former two-division world titleholder Orlando Salido, with his eyes on a possible lucrative rematch with junior lightweight titlist Vasyl Lomachenko later this year, will shake off the rust of an 11-month layoff with a fight on May 27.
Salido will take on Amphon Suriyo in a scheduled 10-round bout at a contract weight of 132 pounds in Bacum, Mexico, just a few minutes from Salido's hometown of Cuidad Obregon, Sean Gibbons, Salido's manager told ESPN on Sunday. The fight will be televised on beIN Sports Español in the United States.
The 36-year-old Salido (43-13-4, 30 KOs), one of boxing's purest warriors, has been out of action since a helacious draw challenging then-junior lightweight titleholder Francisco Vargas in June in an HBO main event at the StubHub Center in Carson, California. The fight was the consensus 2016 fight of the year.
It dropped Salido's record to 0-1-2 in his last three fights but each decision was highly debatable and all three fights were outstanding slugfests. Salido, who has won world titles at featherweight and junior lightweight, has made a career of being in action-packed fights and become a fan favorite.
"The idea is to shake the rust off against Suriyo and if all goes well to fight Vasyl Lomachenko later in the year and settle things once and for all with that fight," Gibbons said.
In March 2014, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Salido won a split decision against Lomachenko, a two-time Ukrainian Olympic gold medalist and regarded by many as the greatest amateur in boxing history. Lomachenko, in only his second professional fight, was challenging for the vacant featherweight world title that had been stripped from Salido the previous day for failing to make weight.
Although Salido won the close decision, there was controversy because not only did he miss weight but he routinely fouled Lomachenko with low blows throughout the bout but was rarely warned by referee Laurence Cole. Lomachenko (8-1, 6 KOs) went on to win the vacant title in his next fight, later won a junior lightweight title and has emerged as one of the best fighters in boxing pound-for-pound.
He stopped former titlist Jason Sosa in the ninth round on April 9 in a fight that had originally been offered to Salido, but they could not come to terms.
Gibbons said he is hopeful they will be able to for later in the year as long as Salido gets past Suriyo (18-2, 14 KOs), 29, of Thailand, who has lost two of his last three fights, including a 12-round decision to former featherweight world titleholder Billy Dib in June.
"Salido needs to do something before he can fight Lomachenko again. He needs to fight," Gibbons said. "Orlando hasn't had a homecoming fight in a few years so the timing was right to have a fight at home."
Gibbons and Golden Boy Promotions had been in talks for Salido to possibly box on the undercard of the Canelo Alvarez-Julio Cesar Chavez HBO PPV event on May 6 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas but the deal did not work out, Gibbons said.
The last time Salido fought in his home area was in an eighth-round knockout of Weng Haya in a nontitle fight in 2011.
"We believe the time is correct to make the Lomachenko fight," Gibbons said. "Our goal is to fight May 27, have Orlando shake off the rust and have a deal in place with Top Rank for a Lomachenko fight. I don't want to overlook this fight or call this a tune-up, but Orlando really wants the Lomachenko rematch. He wants it financially and he also wants it for pride. He's tired of hearing about low blows, the weight, the referee. Enough with the excuses.
Everyone is saying Lomachenko is a different fighter now, but Orlando feels that even if Lomachenko has gotten better he has the right plan to beat him again."
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has said he would like to make Lomachenko's next fight a rematch with Salido in the late summer.