Former world champion Orlando "Siri" Salido arrived late Monday evening in Puerto Rico and held a Media Workout on Tuesday at the Wilfredo Gomez Gym in Guaynabo , Puerto Rico , where he was welcome by two-time world champion Ivan "Iron Boy" Calderon.
Salido will challenge unbeaten WBO featherweight champion Juan Manuel “Juanma’’ Lopez this Saturday, April 16 in the main event of Showtime Championship Boxing live on Showtime at10:30 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast.
Salido and his team, Jose Santos, Victor Barron and Armando Castro, met the media and worked out for one hour, hitting the mitts, speed bag and shadow boxing. Salido stated that he was almost on weight for the 126-pound clash at Ruben Rodriguez Coliseo in Bayamon, Puerto Rico.
In the co-feature, undefeated Luis Cruz will now face former world title challenger Martin Honorio, of Mexico City , Mexico , in a 10-round super featherweight bout after Roman "Rocky" Martinez suffered a back injury while training and was forced to pull out of the fight.
Cruz (17-0, 14 KOs), of Philadelphia by way of Las Piedras, P.R., is ranked No. 11 by the IBF at 130 pounds and has won six in a row by knockout, including a TKO 2 over Wilfredo Acuna in his most recent start last Dec. 4, and 11 of his last 12 inside the distance. Cruz has gone the route only three times since turning professional in March 2007. The furthest he’s gone is 10 rounds.
A former world title challenger at 126 pounds, Honorio (29-5-1, 15 KOs) owns wins over previously undefeated prospect John Molina, junior featherweight contender Rogers Mtagwa, and former world champs Steven Luevano and Cristobal Cruz. Honorio challenged Robert Guerrero for the IBF featherweight world title in November, 2007, losing via a devastating one-punch knockout at 0:56 of the first round. Honorio has lost just once since moving up to 130 pounds.
Salido (34-11-2, 1 ND, 22 KOs), 30, of Ciudad Obregon , Mexico , is more dangerous than his record would indicate. In his last start, he scored a knockdown and went the distance against power-punching WBA featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa on Sept. 11, 2010. The points loss came one start after he registered two knockdowns en route to winning a decision and the then-vacant IBF title over Cristobal Cruz.
The exciting, hard-hitting Lopez (30-0, 27 KOs), of San Juan , P.R., is a two-division world champion who’ll be making his third WBO title defense. The talented southpaw is coming off an excellent eighth-round TKO over Mexico’s boxing legend and future Hall of Famer, Rafael Marquez, in a tense give-and-take slugfest last Nov. 6 on Showtime. Lopez, 27, has knocked out 90 percent of his opponents.
Below is what Salido had to say at Tuesday’s workout:
"I have everything to gain and nothing to lose, all the pressure is on him. He is the champion. He’s fighting at home and everyone expects him to win. Let’s see if he can deliver. I did not come all this way to lay down for him.
"I do believe that he is the best featherweight in the world and a great champion, but he also likes to fight and that will be to my advantage. We both have power and will test each other all night.
"This is a great opportunity for me. I worked very hard for nearly two and half months and just feel great. My confidence is sky high for this fight. I know this could be my last chance and I want to take advantage of it.
"I know it will be a war and that it will be tough for both us. I know Juanma comes with everything in the first few rounds and I will have to be smart and stay focused at all times. I believe that the longer the fight goes it will be to my advantage. I know that he is not the same fighter in the end that he is in the beginning.
"From fighting Gamboa and from what I seen of Lopez, I believe that Lopez is the more well-rounded boxer. Gamboa still fights like an amateur at times and he is very fast, but Juanma looks like he has more power. I guess I find out more on Saturday night.
"I did not have a very good camp for the Gamboa fight because I went to Mexico City to train and I just never got comfortable. This time I trained in Nogales and Ciudad Obregon and feel a lot better about my preparation. That's what I did for the Cristobal Cruz fight when I won the title and that's what I should have done for the Gamboa fight".
Gus Johnson will call the action from ringside with Al Bernstein providing color commentary, Antonio Tarver serving as expert analyst and Jim Gray serving as ringside reporter. David Dinkins Jr. is the executive producer of SHOWTIME Sports® with Chuck McKean producing and Bob Dunphy directing.