Back in October when Roman Martinez and Orlando Salido went to Orlando, Florida for the WBO's 28th annual convention, there was a great deal of talk about a third meeting between the two men.
The two fighters spent 2015 fighting each other, as they first met in April in a bout that saw Martinez defeat Salido. It was a tremendous engagement that saw Martinez recapture the WBO World Super Featherweight title he once held. The fight took place in Martinez' country of Puerto Rico and the calls of favoritism by the judges and demands for a re-match by the Salido camp were constant and immediate.
In September, the two met a second time in Las Vegas on the undercard of the Floyd Mayweather Jr bout with Andre Berto. The re-match ended in a draw, as judge Patricia Morse Jarman had it 115-113 for Salido, judge Burt A Clements had it 115-113 for Martinez and judge Glenn Feldman had it 114-114.
Late October saw Salido show up to lobby the WBO convention for an immediate re-match. Martinez arrived as well and signaled he would welcome a re-match, and WBO President Francisco Valcarcel appeared to endorse the fight for the March timeframe. Salido, who had filed protests with the WBO over the first two results stopped pursuing them as it looked like the fight could be made.
From the beginning, Martinez stated that he wanted to host the fight in Puerto Rico again, as the champion. And that appears to be sticking point as we approach the end of January with no contract signing in sight.
This past week, the two fighters took to Twitter and other social media outlets to call each other out. The war of words deteriorated to name calling, but one thing appeared clear from the exchange. This fight is no closer to happening than back in October.
That is a shame, because both of the first two encounters were thrilling bouts and the controversy that surrounds the decisions are very real for the Salido camp. If the powers that be give us Juan Manuel Marquez vs Miguel Cotto, a Salido vs Martinez 3 in the co-feature slot would make for a “Mexico vs Puerto Rico” extravaganza.
Let's hope it happens.