THE fact that Mexican warrior Orlando Salido captured the interim WBO super-featherweight title with his stoppage win over Thai southpaw Terdsak Kokietgym on Saturday night (September 20) was almost a side issue, so utterly dramatic was the fight. Trading vicious punches and hurtful knockdowns throughout, Salido and Kokietgym gave fight fans a definite Fight of The Year candidate in Tijuana.
Kokietgym drew first blood, flooring the 33-year-old warhorse, who was moving up to super-featherweight after defeaing heavily hyped amateur star Vasyl Lomachenko in March, with a left hand counter to the jaw in the opening session. Hurt but up quickly, “Siri” returned the favour, albeit with an intended body shot that strayed below the beltline (with referee Eddie Claudio missing the unintentional foul). The war was now on and plenty of white-knuckle drama ensued.
Floored again in the second and fifth rounds, Salido, at times looking his age and a little older, nevertheless also showed his toughness along with his heart and determination. Kokietgym, who had the peculiar habit of leaning backwards over the ropes at the start of each round, was dangerous throughout, yet he too hit the deck a number of times, going down again in the fourth-round (going down twice here, his first trip south being ruled a slip) and in the seventh. Finally, after some mesmerising toe-to-toe action, Salido closed the show with a brutally hurtful four-punch combination to the head that left Kokietgym down and out after just 16-seconds of the 11th-round.