Star-Bulletin Sports

Thursday, April 29, 1999

H A W A I I _ S P O R T S

Salud gets
a chance at
world title

The junior featherweight's win
Monday earns him a title fight
against Marcos Antonio Barrera

By Paul Arnett


Between the eighth and ninth rounds of Monday's fight, Bobby DePhilippis climbed through the ropes in Jesus Salud's corner to deliver perhaps the most important message in the 35-year-old's boxing career.

"I told Jesus if he didn't win the ninth and 10th rounds, his shot for another title fight was over," Salud's longtime manager said last night. "To his credit, he came back and won the fight."

Salud's hard-fought, 10-round decision over Amador Vasquez of Panama sets up a mandatory World Boxing Organization title bout with Marcos Antonio Barrera sometime in August. The likely site is Los Angeles or Las Vegas.

"We were set to go in June," DePhilippis, "but Jesus got pretty busted up in this last fight. There were some head-butts, but the guy caught him a couple of times and made Jesus pay with a nasty cut over his right eye. So, he'll need some time to heal."

Barrera is one of the more respected junior featherweights. He has lost only twice; both times to Junior Jones.

"I've been chasing after Barrera for years," Salud said. "I'm glad I'm going to finally fight him because he's perfect for me. I won't have to chase him."

Salud raised his record to 59-9 with the narrow win over Vasquez. The three judges scored it 95-94, 95-94 and 96-93.

"The guy was a lefty and a last-minute replacement from a fight we were supposed to have on April 12," DePhilippis said of last Monday's televised fight in Anaheim, Calif. "Jesus hadn't sparred against a southpaw and it certainly showed."

The bout with Barrera will be the seventh major title fight for Salud, who won the World Boxing Association super bantamweight belt over Juan Estrada in 1989.

He was stripped of that title in 1990 for refusing to defend it against Luis Mendoza in the challenger's home country of Colombia, and has been chasing his championship dreams ever since.

Along the way, Salud lost a World Boxing Union featherweight title fight to Kevin Kelley in 1997. Vuyani Bungu scored a unanimous decision over Salud for the International Boxing Federation belt in 1996.

He also lost IBF title bouts to Welcome Ncita in Italy in 1992 and to Kennedy McKinney in Nevada in 1993. In 1995, Antonio Cermeno scored a unanimous decision over Salud to successfully defend his WBA belt in his home country of Argentina.

"Jesus doesn't have too many more chances," DePhilippis said.

"If he does win, then we'd like nothing better than to come to Hawaii for a world title fight."

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