Scott Quigg v Yoandris Salinas Preview – WBA Super Bantam Showdown
By Peter Wells
From Kid Chocolate to Jose Napoles to Kid Gavilan and now to the emerging star Guillermo Rigondeaux, it is no wonder Cuba has the reputation as being one of the greatest boxing superpowers in the sport. The wonders of yesteryear floundered the world with a Cuban flavour; their styles have transpired the sport and left a unique blueprint. Tweaks have been made but the traditional Cuban style has remained, much like that of the Mexican variety.
As the aforementioned Rigo strides up the mythical pound for pound rankings, his countryman and possible future rival Yoandris Salinas makes his bow on the world stage. Salinas 20-0-1(13) who like Rigo also resides out of Miami, Florida didn’t make quite the same waves as Rigondeaux as an amateur and understandably hasn’t hurdled up the ladder quite as fast as ‘El Chacel’, but at 28 years old the slick and powerful Cuban is entering the fray.
His opponent comes into the contest as the favourite; Scott Quigg 26-0-1(19) has proven to be as easy on the eye as any Caribbean fighter. Scott’s education to the WBA ‘world’ Super Bantamweight title – the WBA’s ‘Super’ champion is Rigondeaux – has been more than a successful one, he has proven on all fronts thus far just how capable he is, facing different styles over a swift 6 years. The 24 year old proved most devastating in his last two outings when stopping both Rendall Munroe and William Prado in 6 and 3 rounds respectively.
A stoppage here for either boxer would be impressive, it would also require a high risk strategy. Although both have shown great power – Quigg’s hook to the body has proven to be a deadly weapon while Salinas’ laser sharp right hand is hard to avoid and has sent more than a few to the canvas – the two are also pure boxers and clean counter-punchers (Salinas especially).
With a buoyant O2 Arena behind him – albeit it won’t be as hostile as it would have been had the contest still been taking place last week in Manchester – Quigg will feel this is his time to shine, leaving behind his domestic rivals, Carl Frampton and Kid Galahad. Salinas is unlikely to be fazed by the reception, 7 of his last 10 fights have been on enemy territory, and silencing the crowd is something he’s learnt to master.
Quigg can force the tempo early; the shock factor of Quigg’s early aggression may send the visitor into a shell. With all the potential in the world some fighters can just freeze at the worst possible times – Isaac Chilemba never really showed up for the full 12 rounds in both his contests with Tony Bellew, both fights he could and maybe should have won.
Freezing aside the pick is for Salinas to move wisely, picking his moments to launch his sharp right hand counters. For a Cuban fighter Salinas keeps his guard up relatively well, although his foot speed does most of the defensive duties for him. Quigg may get irritated in the middle rounds, falling short as the underdog uses his reflexes before countering fluently. Quigg can win enough rounds with his work rate and aggression to make it a close fight going into the championship rounds, but gut instinct says that Salinas will come out victorious, stunning the home crowd in an enthralling boxing match.
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