GARCIA TOPS SALIDO WITH UNSATISFYING TECHNICAL DECISION
Scott Shaffer @ ringside
Mikey Garcia W8 Orlando Salido... Mikey Garcia acquired the WBO featherweight title with an unsatisying technical decision over Orlando Salido in New York City's Madison Square Garden. Garcia won nearly every round, but Salido was starting to come on when his head accidentally connected with Garcia's nose. The fight was stopped in the corner after the round ended, with hardly anyone aware of the butt. Once the ruling was made that Garcia could not continue due to an accidental butt, it was obvious he would win on the scorecards. He was deservedly well ahead by scores of 79-70 and 79-69 (twice) thanks to four knockdowns. Garcia also doubled up on Salido in punches landed, 148-74 according to Compubox. However, the Garcia victory announcement drew boos from the crowd for several reasons: Garcia didn't seem particularly hurt, the referee never clearly ruled there was an accidental foul, boxers often fight though broken noses, and Garcia's corner seemed to advocate for the fight to be stopped when their man seemed well enough to continue. In fact, Salido has a decent argument that Garcia should have been forced to continue boxing or lose by technical knockout.
Garcia started the WBO featherweight contest strongly, knocking Salido down twice in the first round. Both knockdowns came via left hooks, and both times Salido went down the same way, his glove touching the canvas to keep his butt off. In the third round, Garcia decked Salido with an uppercut, and he repeated the feat in the fourth with a straight left hand. Salido nearly went down again in the fifth, but rebounded to make a decent showing in the sixth. Salido's rally continued in the seventh, even as his right eye swelled nearly shut. The headbutt in the eighth was unnoticed by most of press row until the unbloodied Garcia delayed coming out for the ninth. After a discussion with referee Benji Estevez and a consultation with the New York Athletic Commission, the bout was sent to the scorecards.