HBO Boxing is bringing us a super featherweight feature this Saturday live from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. Four high-level bouts are planned in the weight class with the main event pitting Orlando Salido (44-13-4) and Miguel Roman (57-12) in a battle of veterans.
Salido is reported to have turned down a rematch against WBO world titlist Vasyl Lomachenko. Salido fought Lomachenko in what was the Ukrainian’s second pro fight and Salido won a narrow majority decision. There have been calls for a rematch ever since but Salido pted for the non-title bout against Roman rather than face Lomachenko again. Roman is a guy who has been hard to put away his whole career. He took a devastating 12th round TKO loss to Takashi Miura in January of this year but he bounced back with a twelth round stoppage win of his own against Nery Saguilan in June. A win will give either man another payday and perhaps another world title shot.
Philadelphia’s Tevin Farmer (25-4-1) is a strong favorite to grab the vacant IBF world title over Japan’s Kenichi Ogawa (22-1). Do not let the four losses on farmer’s record fool you. The setbacks came early in his career and he is riding a strong 17 fight winning streak to earn this world title shot. For the hard working Farmer, it is his first shot at a world title and should he win, there are fights with the likes of Miguel Berchelt and Gervonta Davis that await him. Ogawa is also on a long winning streak, having the only loss of his career back in 2012 in his ninth professional fight. This will be Ogawa’s first time fighting outside of Japan, and it is his first world title fight as well.
Former world titleholder Francisco Vargas (23-1-2) returns to action to face England’s Stephen Smith (25-3). Vargas lost his WBC world belt this past January when he was stopped by Miguel Berchelt. Prior to that, Vargas had retained his belt in a hard fought draw with Orlando Salido
Smith went 0-2 in world title shots in 2016, losing to Jose Pedraza and Jason Sosa. Neither man can afford to take another loss if they want to stay relevant and in the title picture at 130 pounds.
Also on the card is rugged veteran Denis Shafikov (38-3-1) who is trying to bounce back from a loss to IBF world champion Robert Easter Jr at lightweight in his last outing. Shafikov is dropping down in weight after years of operating at 135 pounds, so it will bear noting to see how the 32 year old adopts to the lower weight class. Alvarado dropped a March fight with Yuriorkis Gamboa to start off the year but he went home to Nicaragua and went 3-0 in eight rounders. Alvarado has been in with a lot of talented people but he has failed to break through and net a win, and that pattern is expected to remain ion place when he meets Shafikov this Saturday.
Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino Event Center – Las Vegas, Nevada – HBO
Super Featherweight 10 rounds –
Miguel Roman +135
Orlando Salido -165
Super Featherweight 12 rounds –
Kenichi Ogawa +700
Tevin Farmer -1300
Super Featherweight 12 rounds. –
Stephen Smith +235
Francisco Vargas -275
Super Featherweight 10 rounds –
Rene Alvarado +660
Denis Shafikov -1200