By Rene Bonsubre,Jr
Pedro Taduran remains the IBF world minimumweight champion after a four round technical draw against Mexican challenger Daniel Valladares. This was the southpaw Taduran’s first defense and he had to do it on the road at the Jardin Cerveza Expo in Guadalupe,Mexico.
Both boxers came out firing right from the opening bell. But in what is a common unfortunate mishap in southpaw vs orthodox match-ups, an accidental clash of heads happened in the last minute of round one.
Valladares sustained an ugly cut above his right eye. The ring doctor allowed the fight to continue and it did not slow down the action. Both continued to trade hard shots.
In the second, Valladares went head-hunting while Taduran targeted the body. The action remained fast and sustained at close quarters. Taduran pressed the action in the third and the heavy exchanges continued in the fourth. Both boxers were showered the Mexican’s blood and the ring physician was called once again. He told the referee he will let the fight go but when the fourth round ended, the fight was finally called to a halt.
The scores were 39-37 Valladares, and two judges had it 38-38.This allowed Taduran, from Albay in the Philippines, to retain his title.
This was a close fight fougth on even terms but Taduran’s manager, Art Monis, told this writer after the bout that if the fight was not stopped, he was confident that Taduran would have knocked Valladares out in the fifth.
Taduran is now 14-2-1,11KO’s while Valladares is 22-1-1,13KO’s.
Taduran won the vacant IBF world minimumweight title against countryman Samuel Salva last September in Taguig City. Salva knocked down Taduran in the first but a fiery attack from Taduran made Salva fade and capitulate before the bell for the fifth round.
There will be two more Filipinos who will be fighting for world titles this month. On the distaff side, on February 8, Carleans Rivas (8-6-2,0KO) will challenge IBF Female world minimumweight champion Yokasta Valle (19-2,8KO’s) of Costa Rica in the champion’s home turf.
Rivas is well-travelled but has lost in Japan to the likes of Tamao Ozawa,Chaoz Minowa, Tenkai Tsunami and Yumemi Ikemoto. Valle will be making the first defense of her belt that she won from Spain’s Joana Pastrana. Valle had previously lost in her attempts to win world title belts with the WBC and WBO.
Then on February 22, Jeo Santisima (19-2,16KO’s) will face his most accomplished foe in the person of Mexican Emanuel Navarrete (30-1,26KO’s) the WBO world junior featherweight champion.
Navarrete burst upon the scene when he dethroned Isaac Dogboe of Ghana by unanimous decision in New York. In their rematch, he stopped Dogboe in the twelfth in Tucson. He would defend three more times which included a 4th round TKO win over Filipino Juan Miguel Elorde in Las Vegas.
One of Santisima’s best career wins was a sixth round stoppage of Marco Demecillo in Cebu City. This was when Demecillo was still considered by local pundits as a dangerous puncher. In 2018, Santisima beat Mexican Uriel Lopez by unanimous decision in Cebu City for the WBO Oriental junior featherweight title. He is currently ranked number 4 by the WBO.
Santisima, who fights out of the ALA Gym of Cebu, has not lost since 2014 but will be fighting overseas for the first time. This will be on the undercard of a huge card, the rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury in Las Vegas.
Photo – Pedro Taduran
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