Every now and then we luck out and get to watch the type of fight that makes a chest hair sprout and compel the local municipalities to send out letters requiring every barn owner to immediately set fire to them, yes this was a barn burner.
In what turned out to be a memorable slugfest between Orlando “Siri” Salido 42-12-2 (29KO’s) and Terdsak Kokietgym 53-5-1 (33KO’s) that featured seven knockdowns Salido got the victory as he moved up in weight to capture the interim WBO 130lb. title. Salido coming off of a victory against 126lb. champ and highly touted Olympic and amateur champion Vasyl Lomachenko. Salido had lost his title that evening on the scales allowing Lomachenko to win the title in a dominant performance later over the carefully matched Gary Russell Jr.
After a brief 10 seconds into the first round the two fighters began trading heavy shots with Salido throwing combinations and Kokietgym countering with a thunderous left hand that sent Salido down early. Salido got up to answer with his own knockdown on what was a low blow referee Eddie Claudio didn’t see. The first ended with the two trading bombs and Kokietgym rocking Salido with a hard counter left hook to end the round. Round two was no less exciting than the first with Salido throwing the better combinations and working the body but another hard left hand from Kokietgym sent Salido to the canvas at the end of the round.
The action didn’t let up and in the fourth round Kokietgym went down on what was ruled a trip by referee Eddie Claudio it was a good ruling as their legs were entangled and caused the trip. Further into the round a left jab and straight right to the body sent Kokietgym backwards and down to the canvas for knockdown number four in the fight. At this point in the fight Twitter was on fire, I was calling every fight fan I know, and the crowd in Tijuana Mexico was cheering wildly.
The beginning of round five saw Salido come out blazing with combination punching only to be caught with a counter left hook by Kokietgym that sent him down to the mat for knockdown number five in the fight. Round six ended in an odd fashion when referee Eddie Claudio seemingly mistook the ten second knock for the bell as Salido was landing big shots and jumped between the fighters prompting Salido’s corner to jump in the ring and begin to celebrate believing their fighter had just won. Claudio realized he had made the mistake, cleared the ring and ordered the fight to continue.
Salido came out in round seven throwing great combinations, working upstairs and downstairs with Kokietgym looking as though he was beginning to break down. Salido scored another knockdown with a right hand followed by two left hooks. Rounds eight through ten saw Salido in control and landing thudding combinations to the head and body of Kokietgym while Terdsak could only throw one punch at a time.
Round eleven started with Salido looking the fresher fighter as Kokietgym rarely went to the body, Salido landed a left right combo that sent Kokietgym down and referee Eddie Claudio didn’t even count, Kokietgym was done and stayed on the canvas for a while. Salido impressed in an action slugfest that could be the fight of the year. Salido showed good combination punching and bodywork and was the better overall fighter.
The 130lb. division could see a rematch between Salido and Mikey Garcia because the interim belt Salido won was created due to Garcia’s inactivity, his promotional issues and lawsuit with TopRank.