Miguel “Mickey” Roman (58-13, 45 KOs) brought new life to his career with a spectacular and dominant ninth-round technical knockout victory against four-time, two division world champion Orlando “Siri” Salido (44-14, 31 KOs) in a Fight of the Year Candidate and main event of HBO Boxing After Dark at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Roman, a native of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, scored knockdowns in rounds four and eight before the fight was finally stopped at 1:43 of the ninth round after a fight-finishing flurry sent Salido to the canvas for the last time in his career.
“It’s my moment, and I want to fight against any champion,” said Roman. “I was doing everything well, even though everything is always against me. But things will change from now on. That’s why I want any champion at featherweight or super featherweight, but on HBO. The new camp, the good work we did, the good training–those changes made the difference and we are all able to see that tonight. Nobody knew, but if I lost, I would have retired. It was very important to fight against a great champion like Orlando Salido and win.”
“I’ve beaten young fighters before, but this time it was a matter of age,” said Salido. “Time takes its toll, and obviously I just couldn’t do it. This was my last fight. Thank you to all, to those who will remember me for all the great fights that I had, and to the people who have followed me.”
Francisco “El Bandido” Vargas (24-2, 17 KOs) scored a ninth-round technical unanimous decision victory against Stephen “Swifty” Smith (25-4, 15 KOs) of Liverpool, United Kingdom in a scheduled 10-round super featherweight bout. Vargas, a native of Mexico City, Mexico, tried the new boxing skills that he has learned under his new trainer Joel Diaz. However, the fight was cut a bit short in the ninth round after a severe laceration on Smith’s left ear called a halt to the fight. Vargas was victorious with scores of 89-82, 88-83 and 88-83.
“This was a great win for me, and I’m happy I ended the year on a good note,” said Vargas. With my new team, I know I’ll be back soon and in big fights. I want to be world champion again, and I’ll be back very soon.”
Rene “El Gemelo” Alvarado (28-8, 19 KOs) of Managua, Nicaragua headlined the HBO Latino Boxing double-header with an upset split decision victory against Denis Shafikov (38-4, 20 KOs) in a ten-round super featherweight fight. Alvarado defeated the native of Miass, Russia with scores of 96-93, 96-94 and 94-95.
Ireland’s Aaron “Silencer” McKenna (1-0), the welterweight prospect who has recently signed with Golden Boy Promotions, made a successful professional debut with a four-round unanimous decision victory against Travis Conley (1-1, 1 KO) in the super welterweight division. McKenna won with three scores of 40-36.
Salido vs. Roman was a 10-round lightweight fight presented by Zanfer Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions, Promociones del Pueblo and Tom Loeffler. Vargas vs. Smith was a 10-round super featherweight presented by Zanfer Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions, Tom Leoffler, in association with Matchroom Boxing. The event took place on Dec. 9, 2017 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The bright lights of Las Vegas shine on the junior lightweight division when HBO BOXING AFTER DARK: ORLANDO SALIDO VS. MIGUEL ROMAN, TEVIN FARMER VS. KENICHI OGAWA AND FRANCISCO VARGAS VS. STEPHEN SMITH is seen SATURDAY, DEC. 9 at 10:20 p.m. (live ET/tape-delayed PT) from Mandalay Bay Events Center. The HBO Sports team will call all the action, which will be available in HDTV, closed-captioned for the hearing-impaired and presented in Spanish on HBO Latino.
The fights will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO GO, HBO On Demand and affiliate portals.
In a night of three 130-pound clashes, the main event features four-time world champion Orlando Salido (44-13-4, 31 KOs) from Ciudad Obregón, Mexico, now living in Phoenix, taking on Miguel Roman (57-12, 44 KOs) of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico in a 10-round bout.
With 130 fights between them, veterans Salido and Roman are known for tenacity and fan-friendly styles. Salido was last seen on HBO in June 2016 when he fought Francisco Vargas in an evenly pitched consensus Fight of the Year, resulting in a majority draw decision. Roman was last seen on HBO in January, suffering a memorable hard-fought loss to Takashi Miura.
The co-main event spotlights Philadelphia’s Tevin Farmer (25-4-1, 5 KOs) and Tokyo’s Kenichi Ogawa (22-1, 17 KOs) in a 12-round world title contest. Farmer was on an 18-bout win streak until he was shot in the hand while attempting to break up an altercation at a party. Now recovered, he seeks to resume his championship quest. Fighting in the U.S. for the first time, Ogawa has won 14 straight bouts following his only loss, in 2012. The fight marks the first shot at a world title for either man.
The night opens with Francisco Vargas (23-1-2, 17 KOs) from Mexico City, Mexico taking on Stephen Smith (25-3, 15 KOs) of Liverpool, UK in a 10-round contest. Vargas looks to get back on a win streak following a majority draw against Orlando Salido and a KO loss to Miguel Berchelt in a brutal fight seen last January on HBO. Smith has knocked out more than half his opponents and is fighting in the U.S. for just the second time.
The action-packed night of boxing action continues on the HBO Latino service starting at 1:05 a.m. ET or immediately following the HBO Boxing After Dark telecast. The HBO Latino Boxing doubleheader (tape-delayed) is headlined by a scheduled 10-round junior lightweight fight between Russia’s Denis Shafikov (38-3-1, 20 KOs) and Nicaragua’s Rene Alvarado (27-8, 19 KOs). The opening bout on HBO Latino Boxing pits undefeated prospect Jaime Mungia (25-0, 21 KOs) of Tijuana, Mexico, against Paul Valenzuela (20-6, 14 KOs) of Baja, Mexico, in a scheduled eight-round matchup in the junior middleweight division.
It was announced today by Zanfer Promotions, Golden Boy Promotions and Tom Loeffler that the Boxing Capital of the World, Las Vegas, will host another spectacular event Saturday, Dec. 9. Four-Time World Champion in two weight divisions, ORLANDO “Siri” SALIDO (44-13-4, 31 KOs), of Sonora, MX, will face off against fellow Mexican warrior MIGUEL “Mikey” ROMAN (57-12, 44 KOs), of Chihuahua, MX, in a 12-round lightweight clash for the vacant WBC Interim Junior Lightweight Title from the Mandalay Bay Events Center. The bout will be televised live on HBO Boxing After Dark beginning at 10:20 p.m. ET.
Tickets priced at $250, $200, $150, $100 and $50 are On Sale Today At 12:00 p.m. PT and can be purchased at AXS.com or in person at the Mandalay Bay Events Center Box Office.
Also featured on the card is a bout between TEVIN “American Idol” FARMER (25-4-1, 5 KO’s), of Philadelphia, PA as he 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 is former WBC World Super Featherweight Champion FRANCISCO “El Bandido” VARGAS (23-1-2, 17 KOs) who 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 who we knew how they fought and that it would be the Fight of the Year. We have the same feeling for this fight, and 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 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. 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 December 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 three great matchups all in the same weight class 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 they both 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 fighter, 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 fight through the first 11 rounds before the bout was stopped in Miura’s favor.
Roman followed up the disappointing loss with a 12-round knockout of Nery Saguilian on 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 recently suffered a gunshot wound while serving valiantly as a peacemaker during a domestic incident in his hometown this past July.”
“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.”
Tevin Farmer said, “I’ve been waiting a long time for an opportunity like this and I’m happy that it’s now here. 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.”
Kenichi Ogawa said, “I am honored to be fighting for the IBF title and very excited that it will be in Las Vegas. 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 in my U.S. debut.”
Victorious in his last seventeen bouts, the 27-year-old southpaw 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, Farmer defeated Arturo Reyes by decision on April 29, 2017 in his hometown.
Fighting for the first time in the United States, 29-year-old Ogawa is also riding a very impressive 14-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 has 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.”
Francisco Vargas said, “Stephen Smith and the fans should expect nothing less than non-stop action from a warrior like me. On December 9, people are going to remember the reasons why I was in two Fight of the Year events 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.”
Said Stephen Smith, “It’s a great opportunity for me. 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.