Moving up to junior lightweight brought the same results for all-action veteran Orlando Salido on Saturday.
After getting up off the canvas three times in a fight that featured seven total knockdowns, Salido rallied to stop Thailand’s Terdsak Kokietgym by 11th-round TKO in Tijuana, Mexico, to win a vacant interim junior lightweight title.
Salido, 33, a former three-time featherweight titlist, ended matters dramatically with a vicious, three-punch combination that left Kokietgym out on his back, leaving referee Eddie Claudio no need to count him out. It was the fourth-straight title bout for Salido (42-12-2, 29 KOs), who defeated current featherweight titlist Vasyl Lomachenko in March by split decision one day after Salido lost his title on the scales for coming in overweight.
Kokietgym (53-5-1, 33 KOs), a southpaw, did his part off the opening bell to help make Saturday’s bout a viable fight of the year candidate by flooring Salido with a counter overhand left. But Salido rose from the deck to score a knockdown of his own later in the round on a body shot that appeared to land low.
The frenetic pace continued into Round 2 as Salido was hurt, and eventually floored hard, by a left hand in the closing seconds. But the rugged Mexican brawler began to turn the tide.
In Round 4, Salido appeared to have floored Kokietgym with a right hand, but Claudio ruled it a slip. An undeterred Salido continued to stalk forward with hard combinations and scored an undisputable knockdown later in the round with a left hook.
While Kokietgym, 33, remained competitive the rest of the way, routinely finding a home for uppercuts at close range, he was never the same after recording his final knockdown of Salido in Round 5.
Salido sent Kokietgym into the ropes and down to the canvas with a damaging right cross in Round 7 and buckled him again with the same punch the following round.
Kokietgym, a former world-title challenger at 126 and 130 pounds, snapped a seven-fight win streak and suffered his first defeat since dropping a unanimous decision to then-junior lightweight titlist Takahiro Ao in 2012.