MANILA – Vic Saludar became the new World Boxing Association minimumweight champion after beating fellow fighter from Mindanao Robert Paradero in a historic championship bout at the Biñan Football Stadium on Saturday.
In the first world title fight held in the Philippines amid the coronavirus disease 19 pandemic, Saludar, the former World Boxing Organization champion, did just enough especially in the endgame to edge the erstwhile unbeaten Paradero in their all-Filipino showdown via split decision.
Saludar, a native of Cagayan de Oro City, showed his veteran smarts early on by connecting on good shots especially counter punches on Paradero during the first two rounds.
Paradero of Valencia City, Bukidnon began pouring it on in the next two rounds, delivering solid body shots to Saludar.
Saludar somehow recovered in fifth and sixth rounds, but Paradero showcased an improved strategy in the next four rounds, even dominating Round 9.
That turned out to be Paradero’s last hurrah as Saludar finally frustrated him with his left jabs as well as an improved focus.
Despite what looked like a close fight, Alfie Jocosol appeared to be too impressed with Paradero’s performance that he gave him a 118-110 scoreline, but Aquil Tamano had it 115-113 and Danrex Tapdasan tallied 116-112 both in favor of Saludar.
Saludar moved up to 21-4, while Paradero fell for the first time after an 18-0 start. (PNA)