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Orlando Salido ends retirement after just four days

Moments after former four-time, two-division world titleholder Orlando Salido had engaged in yet another dramatic slugfest -- getting knocked out in the ninth round by Mexican countryman Miguel "Mickey" Roman in their junior lightweight bout -- he stood in the ring at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and announced his retirement.

After 21 years of prize fighting, the wars had taken their toll, Salido said.

"I am just an old fighter now," the 37-year-old Salido said in a heartfelt manner.

But that was Saturday. On Wednesday, he had a change of heart, ending one of the shortest retirements imaginable in a sport in which fighters retire and return all the time.

"On Saturday night I let my emotions and my frustration get the best of me," Salido said from his home in Phoenix. "It was a tough fight, and I was not able to do some of [the] things [I've] always been able to do in the ring that I attributed to my age and wear and tear on my body from so many wars.

"But after coming home and reviewing my camp and the fight, I realized that my weight issues were also part of the problem on Saturday night. I came into camp at the highest weight ever, and our focus became the weight and the boxing became secondary during training camp."

Indeed, Salido struggled to make weight and took multiple tries to make it the day before the bout.

"I felt that I left my fight at the scale," Salido said. "No excuse, but one fight in 18 months did not help me stay in shape, and getting to the weight was the biggest concern for my fight, and while I am happy with the fight that I gave the fans, I truly believe that I can do better, so I am keeping my options open to returning in 2018 at 130 or 135 pounds. Sometime after a fight and in the heat of the moment, things are said that, upon reflection, are not the correct things to say. I want to get back into the ring to give my fans some more thrills as I believe I still have some good boxing left."

The fight with Roman was an all-out slugfest and a fight of the year contender, something Salido (44-14-4, 31 KOs) is very familiar with.

Salido badly hurt Roman with a right hand in the first round, but Roman (58-12, 45 KOs), 32, came back to knock Salido down three times, in the fourth round, eighth round and ninth round. After the third knockdown, referee Robert Byrd waved off the fight at 1 minute, 43 seconds.

It was another on a long list of sensational fights Salido has participated in, in recent years, including a bloody draw against then-junior lightweight world titleholder Francisco Vargas that was the clear 2016 fight of the year.

Salido also was in several other fight of the year contenders, including two junior lightweight title battles with Roman "Rocky" Martinez in 2015 (a close decision loss and a draw in the rematch); a victory in an unforgettable eight-knockdown slugfest with Terdsak Jandaeng in a 2014 interim junior lightweight title win; and upset knockout victories against Juan Manuel Lopez in 2011 and 2012 featherweight title bouts.

Now, he is coming back for more.