Photo: Ed Mulholland
The Boxing Capital of the World, Las Vegas, NV, will host another in its long history of ‘Fight of the Year’ candidates when Four-Time World Champion in two weight divisions, Orlando “Siri” Salido (44-13-4, 31 KOs), of Sonora, MX, faces off against fellow Mexican warrior Miguel “Mikey” Roman (57-12, 44 KOs), of Chihuahua, MX, in a 12-round lightweight clash Saturday, Dec. 9 from the Mandalay Bay Events Center, it was announced today by Zanfer Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and Tom Loeffler. The bout will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:20 PM. ET/PT.
Tickets priced at $250, $200, $150, $100 and $50 are on sale at AXS.com and at the Mandalay Bay Events Center Box Office.
Also featured on the card, Tevin “American Idol” Farmer (25-4-1, 5 KO’s), of Philadelphia, PA squares off against Kenichi Ogawa (22-1-0, 17 KO’s), of Tokyo, Japan for the vacant IBF Junior Lightweight World Title. Farmer vs. Ogawa is presented in association with DiBella Entertainment and Teiken Promotions.
Opening the telecast former WBC World Super Featherweight Champion Francisco “El Bandido” Vargas (23-1-2, 17 KOs) will return to the ring once again to make a case for title contention when he takes on former two-time world title challenger Stephen “Swifty” SMith (25-3, 15 KOs) in a 12-round super featherweight fight. Vargas vs. Smith is presented in association with Matchroom Boxing.
“Roman is a good fighter but honestly I don’t care who is in front of me I always come to fight, this is no exception. I’m rested and ready for another fight,” said Orlando Salido.
Miguel Roman said, “The fans will not be disappointed when I get inside the ring with Salido – I’m going to knock him out. I’m preparing for what could be a tremendous test with Salido because he is a tough fighter. But, that doesn’t scare me, and I know that ultimately I will be the fighter to raise his hand in victory.”
Zanfer Promotions’ Fernando Beltran said, “Salido vs. Roman is a great fight, it reminds me a lot of Morales vs. Barrera I. Two Mexicans that we knew how they fought and that it would be the Fight of the Year. We have the same feeling for this fight, we believe we have another Fight of the Year.”
Oscar De La Hoya, chairman and CEO of Golden Boy Promotions, said, “Orlando Salido and Mickey Roman are both fighters who won't back down in the ring and so I expect to see a great event when they enter the ring. Salido is an action-packed fighter who has shown us time and again that he will take two punches to give one. And, Roman is a warrior who has tremendous power. The fans always come out on top when you have two veteran Mexican fighters that like to brawl so I expect a very entertaining event next month.”
“Francisco Vargas is a fighter that I’ve never worried will be in a boring fight because he brings aggression and action to the ring with every opponent. When he fights Smith on Dec. 9, I think you’ll see a stronger, smarter and more aggressive Vargas than we’ve ever seen before.”
Tom Loeffler said, “We’re looking forward to promoting this sensational triple header featuring six of the most popular and toughest fighters in their respective weight divisions with boxing fans being the true winners on December 9.”
“Having promoted numerous events at Mandalay Bay and with Gennady “GGG” Golovkin making it his host hotel for fight week in September, it’s a pleasure to work with their great team once again and with the strong relationships which have been built over many years.”
In June 2016, Salido and Francisco Vargas engaged in the consensus “Fight of the Year”telecast on HBO from the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., as both warriors clashed in a fight that had the huge crowd on their feet throughout. At the end of the twelve memorable rounds the bout was declared a majority draw.
On March 1, 2014, Salido welcomed current world champion and pound-for-pound contender, Vasyl Lomachenko to the professional ranks with a 12-round decision victory in San Antonio, TX. Lomachenko was seeking to capture Salido’s WBO Featherweight World Title in only his second professional bout but was turned back by the skilled, hard-punching Mexican veteran in San Antonio.
Boxing professionally from the age of 15, the 36-year-old Salido has competed against numerous world champions and top contenders including Mikey Garcia, Lamont Peterson, Roman Martinez, Juan Manuel Lopez, Yuriorkis Gamboa and Robert Guerrero.
The 31-year-old Roman, a professional since 2003, had compiled a 19 -bout winning streak prior to facing Japanese warrior Takashi Miura on January 28, 2017 in Indio, Calif. Telecast on HBO, both combatants engaged in a memorable battle through the first 11 rounds before the bout was stopped in Miura’s favor.
Roman followed up the disappointing loss with a 12th-round knockout of Nery Saguilianon June 24, 2017 in Chihuahua, MX. The victory earned Roman the vacant WBC FECOMBOX Lightweight Title.
"Said Lou DiBella of DiBella Entertaiment, “Tevin Farmer is truly the American Dream. Fighting inside the ring through hard work and uncommon perseverance has created this opportunity for him to challenge for a world title. Outside the ring Tevin was a victim of our country's senseless violence in his hometown this past July in which he suffered a gunshot wound while serving valiantly as a peacemaker during a domestic incident."
"I'm honored to work with Tevin and promote this long-awaited opportunity for him to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming a world champion."
"I've been waiting a long time for an opportunity like this and I'm happy that it's now here," said Tevin Farmer. "I'm going to seize the moment and become a world champion on December 9. Training camp has been going as planned. I'm already in shape and we still have a month left before the fight. Ogawa comes to fight and he won't lay down. He's coming for the victory too, but it's my job to do what I do best and make it look easy.
"I've been through a lot of adversity to reach this point in my career and it taught me how to dig deep and become a better person and better fighter. I know not to take this opportunity for granted. I'm bringing the title home to Philadelphia."
"I am honored to be fighting for the IBF title and very excited that it will be in Las Vegas,” said Kenichi Ogawa. “I know Tevin Farmer is a tough opponent and I will be ready for him on December 9. This will be my first fight outside of Japan. I am training very hard to put on a good performance for my U.S. debut.”
Victorious in his last seventeen bouts, the 27-year-old southpaw Tevin Farmer has taken on all comers throughout his seven-year career continuing to improve with each fight. Following four victories last year including a sensational victory over contender Ivan Redkach, Famer defeated Arturo Reyes by decision on April 29, 2017 in his hometown.
However, in July of this year while breaking up a domestic dispute, Farmer was seriously injured from a bullet wound to his left hand. Now fully recovered he looks to capture his dream of becoming a world champion.
Fighting for the first time in the United States, the 29-year-old Kenichi Ogawa is also riding a very impressive fourteen bout winning streak dating back to 2012.
With two victories in 2017, most recently Ogawa stopped Hirotsugu Yamamoto on July 1 in Tokyo, Japan.
Said Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Boxing, “This is a great opportunity for Stephen Smith on a huge platform. He is put in some great performances for a world title, and badly wants another crack at the crown. A win against Francisco Vargas would 100% do that. It's a great division and this is a great card on December 9."
“Stephen Smith and the fans should expect nothing less than non-stop action from a warrior like me,” said Francisco Vargas. “On Dec. 9, people are going to remember the reasons why I was in two Fight-of-the-Year battles as I make a comeback to the ring. I want to thank Golden Boy Promotions, Ralph Heredia Management, Matchroom Boxing, and Stephen Smith for putting together this fight that I know the fans will enjoy.”
“It’s a great opportunity for me,” said Stephen Smith. “Francisco Vargas always comes to fight, which I’m sure will make for an entertaining clash on December 9. The way he fights, it’s always tough. The last two years he’s been involved in the fight of the years against Salido and Miura, which shows the level he’s at and excitement he brings. But you don’t know how many miles are now on his clock. That’s a big unanswered question. We’re both highly ranked with the WBC so at this stage it looks on paper to be the best route back to a world title.”
Vargas, of Mexico City, is the former WBC World Super Featherweight Champion who earned the title in a spectacular Fight of the Year performance against Takashi Miura on the Cotto-Canelo undercard in November 2015. Vargas followed the victory with yet another Fight of the Year contender against Salido in June 2016 that was ruled a majority draw. Vargas will return to the ring to face Roman after the first and only loss in his career against current WBC World Super Featherweight Champion Miguel “El Alacran” Berchelt in January of this year.
The 32-year-old Smith has challenged for a world title in two competitive occasions and faced some of the best fighters in the featherweight and super featherweight divisions. Smith’s taken on current IBF World Featherweight Champion “Lightning” Lee Selby, former IBF Super Featherweight Champion Jose “Sniper” Pedraza and former WBA World Super Featherweight Champion Jason “El Canito” Sosa. The native of Liverpool, England will look to earn a third title opportunity if successful against Vargas.