It was almost exactly one year to the date that Alejandro Popo Salinas had been in the ring, but the Jack Loew trained super featherweight showed no rust as he jumped all over Pablo Cupul early and often at the Showboat Hotel in Atlantic City to get himself back in the win column.
Salinas, 24, caught Cupul with an overhand right in the latter moments of the round that sent the crowd which included a strong showing of fans from Youngstown who made the trip into a frenzy and set the tone for the scheduled six-round fight.
While Salinas targeted and landed often on the Mexican veteran, Cupul proved to have a solid chin until Salinas stunned him early in the fifth round and finished him with a combination causing the referee to put a halt to the action before Cupul could even attempt to beat the count.
Salinas was not surprised that Cupul lasted into the fifth round despite taking some abuse.
"I didn't want to end it early," said Salinas. "I had the power but I wanted everyone to know that I can box".
While Salinas was enjoying himself in the ring showing that he can be more than a puncher, he was more than thrilled when he saw the referee put a halt to the action.
"It felt great," said Salinas of the stoppage. "This was just not a win, but a knockout win over a veteran fighter".
With a lackluster 2018 behind him, Salinas, who improved his record to 10-2 with 9 KOs is ready to put Youngstown on his back and make a run to become the cities sixth world champion.
"I want to show everyone especially everyone in Youngstown that I am a true champion," said Salinas. "When I feel like knocking you out I will but in the smartest was possible meaning if I have to take the distance I will".
Salinas was quick to point out his admiration for another Youngstown native and former world champion Kelly Pavlik after the fight.
"I know I made my family proud, I know I made Youngstown proud, and I really hope I made Kelly Pavlik proud" Salinas stated. "I take Kelly's name everywhere I go because I see him as my older brother".
Jack Loew said he will have details on the next Salinas bout shortly but has stated previously that if everything works out he may land on his May 25th show at the Metroplex in Liberty but for now Salinas will take a week away from the gym before getting back to work at Southside Boxing Club.