Cuarto is new IBF mini flyweight champ

Cuarto is new IBF mini flyweight champ

MANILA – Rene Mark Cuarto became the new International Boxing Federation mini-flyweight champion after beating erstwhile champ Pedro Taduran in an all-Filipino clash at the Bula Gym in General Santos City on Saturday.

Despite nearly getting knocked down in Round 7, Cuarto of Zamboanga del Norte pulled off the stunner as his accuracy in landing the shots that matter proved to be better than Taduran’s aggression.

“Sure na sure naman talaga ako [na mananalo ako] kasi pinag-aralan namin yung style niya (I am very sure that I will win because we reviewed his style),” said Cuarto, more known for his counter punching.

Despite being the one defending the minimumweight title, Taduran fought as if he was the challenger, dictating the tempo in the early goings with his charge.

Cuarto, however, rebounded in Round 3 as he finally found some lapses in Taduran’s defense.

Taduran, a native of Libon, Albay, came just close to knocking down Cuarto in the seventh round after connecting with a right hook that forced the latter to sit down a bit.

Using the solid haymaker as his momentum builder, Taduran began going for the finish in Round 8 as he aggressively attacked Cuarto.

But Taduran slowly lost steam in the end as Cuarto recovered and landed some power punches of his own.

The three judges — Alberto Dulalas, Sabas Ponpon, and Roel Depsing, all had it 115-113 in favor of Cuarto, who moved up to 19-2-2 overall with 11 knockouts.

“Matagal ko itong pinaghirapan. Dininig ng Panginoon ang mga panalangin ko (I worked hard for a long time for this. The Lord heard my prayers),” Cuarto said. “Nangibabaw yung tapang at saka lakas ng loob ko sa ibabaw ng ring para mapanalunan itong titulong ito (My courage and inner strength prevailed on the ring to win this title).”

Taduran, on the other hand, fell to 14-3-1 with 11 KO’s. (PNA)

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