Unbeaten bantamweight prospect Boston Salmon carries the nickname “Boom Boom,” and just over two years into his professional mixed martial arts career, it seems safe to say he has lived up to his moniker.
Salmon boasts four knockouts among his five professional victories, two of them inside the first round. The Xtreme Couture product admits his striking prowess has garnered a lot of attention early in his career, but he feels he is far from a one-trick pony when the bell sounds.
“I feel like I’ve improved a lot,” Salmon told Sherdog.com. “I think people looked at me just as a striker at first, but with training at Xtreme Couture and the experience I’ve gotten fighting in the [Resurrection Fighting Alliance organization], I feel like I’ve become a more well-rounded fighter. People haven’t seen me on the ground, but I’ve been training my wrestling and submissions really hard. I’m ready and want to show people what I’m capable of doing.”
Even though he currently trains and fights out of Las Vegas, Salmon hails from Waianae, Hawaii. It was there that his love of combat sports first took hold.
“Where I grew up was a rough place to grow up in,” said Salmon, who is tall for a bantamweight at 5-foot-9. “Growing up, I did baseball, football and all of the normal sports but I was part white and part Hawaiian, and that caused a lot of trouble. My dad told me that I needed to learn how to fight. My dad took me to a boxing gym, and at first, I didn’t want to train, but I fell in love. I was there for a couple of months and the rest was history.”
Salmon’s decision to relocate to Las Vegas from Hawaii was not motivated by mixed martial arts or boxing. Instead, it was due to a desire to play college football.
“I promised myself when I graduated high school that I wanted to get off the island and look for a bigger opportunity,” Salmon said. “I wanted to go to UNLV to play football. I didn’t get a scholarship for UNLV and tried to walk on, but I was going to try again in the spring. I told myself if football didn’t work out, I could join the UNLV boxing team. I told myself to go fight collegiately, win the national tournament and go to the Olympics. There were some paperwork issues and I couldn’t fight at the collegiate nationals, but I fought at some major national amateur boxing tournaments and got to the semifinals before I lost to an eventual Olympian at 152 pounds.”
However, an injury and out-of-the-ring issues derailed Salmon’s promising amateur boxing career, so he turned to other avenues.
“I was training at different places, and I broke a metacarpal that put me out for six months,” Salmon said. “I went back and never was at the same level. A lot of the politics you see in pro boxing are in the amateurs, as well, so I wanted to try something new and talked to my dad about MMA. I’d done wrestling and some muay Thai when I was in Hawaii, so I had some experience with it.”
Salmon got his feet wet as an amateur and then turned pro in January 2014, using a kick to the body and punches to earn a first-round stoppage against Perceu Friza at Resurrection Fighting Alliance event in Los Angeles. He followed it with a first-round technical knockout of Zac Chavez six months later and closed out 2014 with a second-round stoppage of James DeHerrera via elbows and punches.
The one fight he saw go the distance came in June, when he earned a unanimous decision over Danny Mainus at RFA 26. In his most recent outing, Salmon knocked out Keith Carson in the third round of their fight at RFA 33 on Dec. 11. However, Salmon did not come out of the bout unscathed and has remained sidelined since.
“I had a broken bone in my thumb after my last fight,” he said. “I had to not do anything for 10 and a half weeks. I’m back in the gym now, and I’m hoping for a fight in May or June. Hopefully, the UFC gives me a call after that fight and I’ll be ready, but really, it comes down to whatever my management does for me.”
Regardless of when the call comes from the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Salmon feels he can make noise immediately in the crowded bantamweight division.
“I’m ready to go in there and fight whoever they put in front of me,” he said. “I know I have the ability and talent to go in there and beat these guys.”