Author's Note: This was written before Salido would come out of retirement less than a week after his loss to Miguel Roman.
To further add onto the already extensive list of boxers who have retired in 2017, Orlando Salido has announced he would hang up his gloves. Salido made his retirement official shortly after losing a highly-entertaining fight against Miguel Roman on HBO on December 9, ending a two-decade long career filled with incredible battles against a plethora of Hall of Fame boxers.
It really is fitting that Salido would call it quits after an intense fight against Roman. Salido will be remembered as someone who will have great, bloody matches against some of the best boxers of his generation. In a short, yet emotional post-fight interview, Salido said he lost the fight against the forever-unbeaten father time.
"As they say, father time is undefeated. All the wars I had caught up with me. I am leaving the ring knowing that I gave the fans as great a fight that I can give them. I hope they enjoyed it," Salido said.
Salido turned pro in Mexico on March 1, 1996, and lost his debut by TKO to a fellow named Ivan Cazarez, who was also making his pro debut. In fact, Salido was just 14-8-2 by 2002, when he beat prospect Lamont Pearson, who was 17-0-1 at the time, and his career found some momentum.
Later in 2002, he beat Carlos Gerena, a former world title challenger from Puerto Rico. In 2004, he challenged for the IBF featherweight title, losing clearly to the aforementioned Juan Manuel Marquez, one of the great fighters of the generation.
After a hard start to his career, it would have been easy to write Salido off as a guy who then got on a bit of a run, stepped up in class, and lost, and probably would never be back in that position.
Instead, Salido flourished. He beat Rogers Mtagwa in a title eliminator in 2006, and then defeated Robert Guerrero, a hot young fighter, for the IBF featherweight belt in November of that year. The win was overturned when Salido reportedly tested positive for steroids, a controversial ruling that he denies to this day, but nonetheless will hurt Salido’s legacy even if it’s just for a bit.
He won another eliminator in 2007 over Hector Julio Avila, but lost again in a world title challenge to Cristobal Cruz in 2008, before finally claiming that belt for real in 2010, beating Cruz in a rematch.
Immediately, Salido was set up to face unbeaten Yuriorkis Gamboa, who held the WBA belt. That fight came just four months after Salido beat Cruz. Gamboa won, but Salido pushed it all 12 rounds and made a fight of it.
Through all of that, Salido’s career still hadn’t reached the heights it would. He was back in April 2011 for a stunning war with Juan Manuel Lopez, where the veteran Salido stopped the undefeated Puerto Rican star in the eighth round of a true war, winning the WBO featherweight title. The reign ended shortly in his next fight against Mikey Garcia, but has since recovered, winning a fight against Orlando Cruz, setting up Salido’s greatest win over Vasyl Lomachenko in 2014.
Salido's win over Lomacheno is perhaps the most controversial of his career after the tainted win over Guerrero. Salido beat Lomachenko via split decision, but many believe that Lomachenko should have been declared the winner. It's not exactly a robbery on the level of Manny Pacquiao's loss to Timothy Bradley two years prior to this fight. Regardless, Salido still holds the honor of being the first person to hand Lomachenko his first pro loss. Salido missed weight for the fight, meaning the WBO had to strip him of the world featherweight title.
Since then, Salido hasn't won a big fight since then. Salido lost a WBO super featherweight title match against Roman Martinez, then failed to capture the back when his rematch against Martinez in 2015 ended in a split draw. Salido's next fight against Francisco Vargas also ended in a draw, stopping Salido from getting another world title shot any time soon.
There was a chance both Salido and Lomachenko would have a rematch earlier this year, but negotiations fell during the spring and summer, which meant Salido had to take a fight against Aristides Perez while Lomachenko fought Miguel Marriaga in August, leading to Salido getting final fight against Roman.
Salido isn’t a Hall of Fame-caliber boxer, but his career is an example of someone that is able to take advantage of an opportunity presented to him. Salido wasn’t expected to beat Peterson, but not only did Salido beat Peterson, but used the win as a catapult to bigger fights, world title fights and main events that otherwise would have been lost. His resume is very impressive, carrying many upset wins along the way. He will be remembered as one of the toughest boxers of his time, with countless wars that fans will fondly remember for a long time.
With Salido retiring, he joins a list that includes Guerrero, Miguel Cotto, Takashi Uchiyama, Wladimir Klitschko, Timothy Bradley, Shane Mosley, Juan Manuel Marquez and countless others who have made their retirement official at some point this year. Salido ends his career with a 44-14-4 career record with two reigns as the WBO featherweight champion and one reign as the IBF featherweight champion. A warrior in the ring, the end of Salido's career was still an entertaining one, but like with many other boxers this year, the time is right to call it quits.