Exclusive: Ex-WBC champ Dejan Zlaticanin plans imminent return, eyes Orlando Salido clash in USA

zlaticanin scott hirano

Former WBC lightweight champion Dejan Zlaticanin has informed WBN he has irons in the fire for a return to action in the coming months.

The 33 year-old from Montenegro lost his coveted green and gold belt, along with his impressive undefeated run against the all-conquering Mikey Garcia in January, and has since taken some time to reflect on his next move.

Rather than a hasty move up to 140 pounds, ‘Dynamite’ plans to regroup at the lower limit and hopes to be back in the ring before the end of the year in a bid to erase the painful memory of the Garcia encounter.

“We are working towards a fight at the end of October or start of November,” Zlaticanin exclusively told World Boxing News.

“I will stay at 135 as I feel good in this weight class and I think I have a lot more to show at lightweight.”

Addressing the manner of his loss to Garcia – which ended painfully in three rounds, Zlaticanin added: “The fight against Garcia was terrible for me, not because he is too good, but because I was terrible on that and made him look so superior.

“I admit I had the wrong tactics for that fight and my mistake was that I stayed in front of him. But I prepare like that and I lost the fight.

“I’m not sure why, but I was like hypnotized and slow, I just don’t know what happened to me that night.”

On where he wants to fight next and potential opponents, Zlaticanin confirmed he hasn’t yet given up on his American dream following three straight bouts on the other side of the Atlantic.

“I will fight in the USA,” he revealed. “I didn’t defend my title at my home and a lot of fighters doing that, so I don’t see the reason to do it now. I just feel bad for my fans here in Montenegro.

“Regarding opponents, I would like to fight Orlando Salido. He’s a Mexican warrior and he has a style that is good for me.

“Salido likes to fight in center of the ring and I want that from every opponent,” added Zlaticanin.

Phil Jay is Editor of World Boxing News. Follow on Twitter @PhilDJay