Mark your calendars for Saturday, December 17th, as super featherweight sluggers Orlando "Siri" Salida and Takashi Miura of Japan have agreed to do battle for the interim WBC belt and a chance to face Francisco Vargas early next year in an attempt to claim the full title. Both men have a history in the ring with Vargas, as well as a knack for creating can't-miss fights on a regular basis.
Takashi Miura (30-3-2, 23 KO) won the WBC super featherweight title from Sergio Thompson in 2013 and successfully defended the strap 4 times before meeting Francisco Vargas in a bloody war which won many 2015 fight-of-the-year awards. Vargas left victorious that November night with a 9th round TKO stoppage, however the action was constant throughout the match and both men exited battered and beaten. Since losing to Vargas, Miura has rebounded with a May victory in a touch-up fight, and plans to be well rested and ready to walk into a feared puncher in Salido.
Orlando Salido (43-13-4, 30 KO) is a veteran who has held titles through multiple weight classes and has some really impressive wins on his resume, including beating standouts Vasyl Lomachenko and Juan Manuel Lopez. Although Salido is winless in his last three fights, with 2 draws and a decision loss to Roman Martinez in April of 2015, he has been in a plethora of memorable fights, including the current front runner for this year's fight-of-the-year for his brutal June altercation with Vargas.
Salido and Vargas traded shots for the entirety of the 12 round title bout, with the judges considered it a close draw, an outcome that could not be argued whatsoever. However during this intense scuffle, the champion suffered severe cuts around his eyes and will have to take time off until he can return fully healed in 2017. In the meantime, Golden Boy Productions' Oscar De La Hoya confirmed on Thursday that Salido and Miura will be the rightful contenders for the vacant WBC championship, with the winner gaining the right to a rematch with Vargas once he is cleared to return to action.
"Their styles are made to create World War III" De La Hoya claimed, "This is a can't-miss fight. The fans are in for a special treat". The sentiment seems to be shared by everyone in the boxing community, especially considering it is being held at the Forum in Inglewood, CA, which has been the site of a plethora of past great boxing matches.
Golden Boy plans to make the night into an HBO's "Boxing After Dark" triple header, which could potentially include the likes of 2012 Olympian and featherweight prospect Joseph Diaz (22-0, 13KO), welterweight Frankie Gomez (21-0, 13 KO), as well as middleweight contender David Lemieux (35-3, 32 KO). The main event in itself is worth the price of admission, however it appears as if De La Hoya is looking to put together a spectacular show to close the year.