Fighting for a world title in just his second professional fight, Ukraine's Vasyl Lomachenko lost to Mexico's Orlando Salido on Saturday, March 1, 2014 at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
The first fight as part of HBO's doubleheader last night saw Lomachenko, regarded as the best amateur fighter of all time, lose to former WBO featherweight champion Salido. Salido was stripped of the belt Friday, February 28, 2014 when he failed to make weight. Although Salido was stripped of his belt, Lomachenko still had an opportunity to claim it. With the loss by Lomachenko, the belt will remain vacant.
Salido, weighing 11 pounds more than Lomachenko at the start of the contest, used his weight advantage to trade on the inside, outworking Lomachenko to the body. Several of Salido's body shots landed low. However, referee Lawrence Cole only warned Salido once for his blows below the belt line.
With a 396-1 amateur record and two gold medals to his credit, Lomachenko made it clear he wanted to fight for a world title in his pro debut. Top Rank, Lomachenko's promoter, instead opted to place Lomachenko in a title eliminator that would guarantee Lomachenko a shot at the title in his second fight. Lomachenko stopped Mexican Jose Ramirez in the fourth round last October.
Lomachenko badly hurt Salido in the 12th round, but it was too little too late. Jack Reiss and Oren Shellenberger scored the bout 115-113 and 116-112, respectively for Salido. Levi Martinez had it 115-113 Lomachenko.
If Lomachenko won last night, it would have marked a new record for a fighter claiming his first world title. Thailand's Saensak Muangsurin won a world title in only his third professional contest.