By Rene V. Bonsubre,Jr
Rene Mark Cuarto added his name to the list of Filipino world title-holders by beating countryman Pedro Taduran by unanimous decision for the IBF world minimumweight title.
Both were tentative in the early going but things got heated in the third. They engaged at close quarters but Cuarto’s left hook and right lead, both time tested weapons against a southpaw like Taduran, began to find their mark.
Taduran pressed the action, while Cuarto was more effective using lateral movement to find angles for his left hook and counter right. The rounds were highlighted by heated exchanges.
In the seventh, Taduran shook Cuarto with a hard left and had the challenger backing up. But Cuarto recovered in the eighth as Taduran continued his pressure. The fight was close and up for grabs going into the last two rounds. It was matter of which style the judges’ preferred, Taduran’s aggressiveness or Cuarto’s counterpunching which was the overall trend of the fight.
The three judges – Roel Densing, Brembot Dulalas, and Rodel Garde all had it 115-113 for Cuarto. The third man in the ring was Sabas Ponpon,Jr.
Taduran was defending for the second time. In February of last year, he had a four round technical draw against Mexican challenger Daniel Valladares in Guadalupe,Mexico.
The fight was aired live online courtesy of Powcast Sports. In his post-fight interview, Cuarto stated they studied Taduran’s fighting style and their game plan was exactly what happened during the fight.
The latest IBF rankings had Cuarto at number 3 going into this bout. Because of the ongoing pandemic, Taduran was idle for a year while Cuarto did not fight for 14 months
The 24 year old Cuarto is now 19-2-2,11KO's while Taduran,also 24 years old, drops to 14-3-1,11KO's.
For the main undercard bouts, Orlie Silvestre beat Bonjun Loperez by UD, Vincent Astrolabio beat Jerry Pabila in one round, Genesis Libranza also stopped John Mark Apolinario in one round.
This card was held behind closed doors at the Bula Gym in General Santos City. This was also the second all-Filipino world title fight held on local shores this month. Last weekend, Vic Saludar won the secondary WBA world minimumweight title by split decision against Robert Paradero.
The other Filipino world champs are Jerwin Ancajas (IBF junior bantamweight) and Johnriel Casimero (WBO bantamweight).
File Photo- Rene Mark Cuarto (right) in Beijing with trainer Nonoy Neri in 2017.
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
There was no changing of the guard in the minimumweight division in the Philippines as veteran Vic Saludar turned back the young and hungry Robert Paradero by split verdict in their clash for the vacant WBA regular world title.
Paradero came out swinging in the opening round while Saludar preferred to engage in a chess game of box and counter. A clash of heads in the second round cut both boxers but did not affect their fighting ability.
Both had trouble landing more than one shot at a time early on. Paradero went for Saludar’s midsection while Saludar was more effective timing his jab and one-two combinations. Paradero’s hook shook Saludar in the fourth and his body shots made Saludar think twice in the seventh. In between, Saludar’s accuracy got him points in the scoring areas.
In the ninth and tenth, Paradero moved around more and was more effective. Saludar however, showed championship poise in the last two rounds. Perhaps thinking the fight was much closer, Saludar fired his straight punches;Paradero may have removed his foot on the gas pedal too soon.
The scores - Aquil Tamano 115-113 and Danrex Tapdasan 116-112 for Saludar, while Alfie Jocosol scored for Paradero,118-110. The referee was Nowel Haduca.
The 30 year old Saludar is now 21-4,11KO's while the 24 year old Paradero suffered his first loss, 18-1,12KO's.
Saludar’s trainer Jojo Palacios had chat with this writer after the bout. He credits the hard training and game plan for the win.
“We allowed Paradero to attack, then counter.” Palacios said. “We expected him to be aggressive, he is hungry. But we knew we had an advantage in a long fight.
Saludar’s experience as a former WBO world mini-flyweight champion and former national amateur boxing team member paid off. Paradero entered the bout unbeaten but didn’t see any action abroad and was getting his first world title shot.
In the main supporting bout Carl Jammes Martin (17-0,15KO’s) remained unbeaten and knocked out Joe Tejones (13-8,7KO’s) with a hard right to the body in the fifth.
The fight was held in a football stadium in Binan City, Laguna but was behind closed doors due to covid-19 protocols and broadcast live on facebook and youtube.
Thammanoon Niyomtrong (21-0,7KO's) of Thailand is the 105 lb. division 'super' champion of the WBA and a 'unification' with Saludar would be an intriguing match-up.
Photo- Vic Saludar victorious vs Robert Paradero
By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
Philippine boxing took a hard body blow in 2020. The continuing spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) forced quarantine and lockdown procedures in the Philippines and lead to the cancellation of boxing promotions and all sports activities throughout the country. Boxing returned four months ago but continues to be held behind closed doors.
But things are slowly getting back to normal. A world title fight on home soil is a sign of hope. On February 20, former WBO world champion Vic Saludar (20-4,11KO's) will face unbeaten Robert Paradero (18-0,12KO's) for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) minimumweight title in Biñan, Laguna.
This match-up had already been moved twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.The two were originally set last December 5 and then January 30.
This will be the third all-Filipino world title bout on local shores. In 1925, Pancho Villa beat Clever Sencio by 15 round unanimous decision to retain the world flyweight crown in Wallace Field in Manila. In 2019, Pedro Taduran stopped Samuel Salva in Taguig City for the vacant IBF world minimumweight title. Two other all-Filipino world title fights were held in the United States in 2018-Jerwin Ancajas WUD12 Jonas Sultan (IBF jr.bantamweight title) and Donnie Nietes D12 Aston Palicte (vacant WBO jr.bantamweight title).
The 30 year old Saludar, who resides in Cagayan de Oro City in Mindanao, is already on his fifth day in the hotel bubble with trainer Jojo Palacios.
Palacios told this writer that their training went well and Saludar is just a pound over the contracted weight of 105 lbs. He is confident Saludar’s championship experience will pull him through.
The 25 year old Paradero, on the other hand, told this writer in a short chat that he is confident he can overcome the experience gap and beat Saludar. Paradero is also isolating in a gym. He has been inactive for almost 22 months due to the covid lockdown.
Saludar has the shorter lay-off at 14 months. He took the WBO 105 lb division title in Kobe,Japan last July 13, 2018 against Ryuya Yamanaka by unanimous decision. Last February, He beat another Japanese Masataka Taniguchi also by unanimous decision at the Korakuen Hall in Tokyo in his first defense. He lost to Puerto Rican Wilfedo Mendez by unanimous verdict in San Juan,Puerto Rico.
In his first world title shot in 2015, Saludar was stopped by then WBO champ Kosei Tanaka in six rounds.
Saludar was a member of the Philippine amateur boxing team. He won a bronze medal in the light flyweight class in the 2010 Asian Games and his brother Rey won the gold in the flyweight category.
Photo- Vic Saludar (left) and Robert Paradero
These articles are submitted by guest writers and sites. They aren't submitted by the usual folk behind Asian Boxing and don't fall in line with our editorial stance, giving a fresh view on various boxing issues from the Asian boxing scene.