Vargas vs Salido

Vargas vs Salido Fighting Mexican Style.


By Igor Frank

I first met Francisco Vargas in early May of 2010. The Mexican Olympian who had just turned professional earlier that year. He was joined at the hip with veteran cut man, Tony Rivera who told me to keep an eye out on the timid boy-boxer .


Francisco told me about living and training in Mexico at the Olympic village alongside Alfredo Angulo. I remember thinking that it would be nice if similar arrangements were made for amateur boxers in United States. One thing I couldn’t imagine is that Vargas would be involved in one of the most anticipated fights of the year six years down the line.


It is most anticipated fight at least by hardcore boxing fans who have been smacking their lips and chomping at the bits ever since the fight between Mexican veteran Orlando Salido (43-13-3,30KO’S) and a current WBC world super featherweight champion, Francisco Vargas (23-0-1,17KO’S) was announced.


They are to collide on June 4th, 2016 at the Stub Hub Center, also known as “The War Ground” in Carson, California. HBO will televise the 12 rounds or less championship contest live.


Talk to anyone in a world of sweet science about this encounter and their eyes light up. It is going to be a war and a battle of wills. Both combatants are from Mexico. They fight “Mexican style” in a true sense of the expression. What does Mexican Style mean?


Mexican style boxing is a new buzz word that came from old school fighting. It is an aggressive, all-out offensive style with little regard for defense and emphasis on hurting your opponent. It was epitomized by Mexican ring great, Julio Cesar Chavez who went through his opponents like a German army through Europe. Widely idolized by fans he was willing to go through fire to land his ferocious left hooks that debilitated mortal men.


Veteran Orlando “Siri” Salido fits the mold like the glove in the O.J Simpson trial. If Mexican style boxing would find its way into Wikipedia we would probably find Salido’s scarred face in it. Orlando first caught my eye in 2006 when he defeated and brutalized then a rising star, Robert “The Ghost” Guerrero at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.


On the side note, Salido tested positive for using performance enhancement drugs after that contest and subsequently his victory over Guerrero was reversed into a no contest. Erroneously Francisco Vargas tested positive for using anabolic steroids in weeks leading up to June 4th bout. Even though personally, I am happy that the powers to be allowed this fight to take place, I am also very surprised especially in lieu of the fact that a similar situation cancelled the heavyweight championship fight between Alexander Povetkin and Deontay Wilder. In my very unpopular opinion, athletes should be allowed to take whatever they want as long as they know the consequences. This in words of the self-proclaimed TBE (Mayweather) –would level the playing field for everyone.

 But this is a topic I know very little about so I am going to leave it alone.


What I do know something about is that Salido exemplified Mexican style fighting in his two wars with Juan Manuel Lopez. He had to go through hell and back in both encounters before stopping the Puerto Rican super star each time. In my view Salido ended the meteoric rise and for all practical purposes a brilliant career of Lopez.


Juanma was never the same and that is why he was blown out by Francisco “El Bandito” Vargas in three rounds when they met in the ring in 2014. Shy outside the ring, Vargas proved that he deserves more than an honorable mention when it comes to Mexican style of fighting when he faced Japanese warrior, Takashi Miura last year in Las Vegas. They treated fans to 2015 Fight of the Year. After dominating early rounds Vargas was taken into deep waters by the Japanese champion. Badly hurt, brutalized with one eye completely shot and seemingly on his way out Vargas summoned super human resolve and stopped Miura in the ninth stanza to the delight of crazed screaming fans.


How much of himself did Vargas leave in the ring that night? We’ll find out June 4th when he faces Salido in Mexican Style. Don’t miss it.



Contact Igor Frank at or on Twitter (Fightmonger).