Earlier this month we heard rumours suggesting that unbeaten Filipino Froilan Saludar (19-0-1, 12) was set to fight Puerto Rican McWilliams Arroyo (14-1, 12) in an IBF Flyweight eliminator.
Although neither the IBF nor Boxrec.com currently list the contest we have been reliably informed that Saludar, training at Dr. Yraola’s gym, is preparing incredibly hard for the bout and is set to be in the shape of his life for what will be the toughest contest of his career.
Saludar popped on to the radar of some Western fans a few years back when he was being shown on shows like KOTV. At that point he looked like a fast rising prospect and possibly the next Filipino star. He had power, poise, timing and was scoring eye catching KO's that were getting him a lot of attention.
Unfortunately much of that momentum was lost in 2013 as Saludar spent almost a year out of the ring before scoring a trio of wins over nondescript opponents. He went from being a future star of Filipino boxing to being a forgotten man.
With his recent gym work however he seems to pretty much ready for Arroyo who was himself, tipped for stardom.
Arroyo was a former World Amateur Champion who signed with American promoter Bob Arum and Top Rank. Unfortunately for him he was upset, in just his 4th professional bout, by Japan's Takashi Okada and then spent some time rebuilding his career which has been somewhat disappointing.
At times Arroyo has looked sensational, as in his very good victory over Luis Maldonado, in others he has looked less than spectacular. More worryingly however is the fact he has now been inactive for over a year and has seen fights with several fighters, including Rocky Fuentes, fall apart at the 11th hour.
Secretly we're suspecting this bout, like the Fuentes one with Arroyo, will fall through, though if it doesn't the winner is looking at a very tough assignment with Thailand's Amnat Ruenroeng (13-0, 5)for the IBF world title. Incidentally Amnat won the world title by beating Fuentes following the Fuentes/Arroyo fight falling through.
(Image courtesy of boxrec.com)
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