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Friday, October 12, 2012
Garcia gets replacement for Salido

By Dan Rafael

MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. -- Former featherweight titlist Jonathan Barros of Argentina will step in and face Miguel Angel "Mikey" Garcia in a 10-round fight on Nov. 10 at the Wynn Las Vegas.

If the deal is finalized, Top Rank and HBO have made a nice save.

Garcia (29-0, 25 KOs) was supposed to challenge titlist Orlando Salido, but Salido pulled out recently after he busted a finger when a friend accidentally slammed it in a car door, and the scramble has been on for a replacement.

From what Top Rank and HBO tell me, Garcia-Barros likely would open the telecast with the original co-feature -- a junior middleweight title eliminator between Vanes Martirosyan (32-0, 20 KOs) and Erislandy Lara (17-1-1, 11 KOs) -- moving up to the main event. The winner of that fight becomes the mandatory challenger for Saul "Canelo" Alvarez.

Barros is a solid replacement and could pose a threat to Garcia. I was a little surprised -- but pleased -- that Top Rank and the Garcia team accepted the fight when you consider that Garcia is sitting there with a title shot against Salido in his lap early next year when Salido is ready to return.

Barros (34-3-1, 18 KOs), 28, of Argentina, is no world beater but he's very solid. His only losses have come by decision in world title bouts. His first defeat came to Yuriorkis Gamboa in 2010. Later in the year, he won a vacant title by stopping Irving Berry in the seventh round.

Barros made two defenses, including a controversial hometown split decision against former unified junior featherweight titleholder Celestino Caballero, before losing the belt by decision to Caballero in an immediate rematch.

In August, Barros took a shot at a junior lightweight belt and lost a decision to Juan Carlos Salgado and would fight Garcia at a maximum of 129 pounds.

Top Rank said once the Garcia-Barros fight is finalized, tickets for the card, which will take place in a 3,000-seat ballroom at the Wynn, will go on sale, probably next week.