By Bill Phanco: If you looked at Mikey Garcia’s 8th round technical decision win over WBO featherweight champion Orlando Salido last Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, you might have focused mainly on how Garcia was able to hurt Salido on a number of occasions while knocking him down four times in the early going. However, if you paid close attention to how Garcia was starting to slow down in the 7th and 8th rounds and losing his power, you’ll have noticed that Garcia might be showing the hints of problems that other fighters can take advantage of in the future.
The 8th round was especially significant because you saw Garcia actually looking worried as he was standing against and taking big shots from Salido. Garcia was no longer able to hurt Salido with his single power shots, and he wasn’t able to stop Salido’s attacks by pushing his head away like he’d done in the earlier rounds. Garcia had been warned about the pushing of Salido but he had continued to use this move with great effectiveness to blunt many of Salido’s attacks. But by the 7th and 8th, Salido was able to duck under Garcia’s attempts at pushing him to land solid shots.
Once in close, Salido was able to land a lot of hard shots. We saw Garcia clinching more and more in the 7th and 8th, while also running and starting to look flustered. After the head-butt occurred in the 8th round that busted Garcia’s nose, it have been the savior for Garcia because he was starting to lose control over the fight. We had the makings of another Antonio Margarito – Miguel Cotto I fight had it gone longer. I wasn’t surprised in the least to see Mikey and his trainer Robert Garcia quickly use the head-butt as an excuse to the fight ended to avoid what would have been four very hard rounds for Mikey.
Mikey is a good fighter but I think he’s going to be found out sooner or later by a fighter that can take his power and take him into the deeper rounds to expose his conditioning, chin and legs. It could happen sooner than we think if Mikey gets his wish and faces Yuriorkis Gamboa.