Earlier today in Digos City fight fans had the chance to see IBF Minimumweight champion Rene Mark Cuarto (20-2-2, 11) make his first defense of his title as he defeated the man he beat for the title last year, Pedro Taduran (14-4-1, 11). This bout, much like their first bout, was a controversial one, and one with a lot to talk about. In fact this one was much more controversial than their first, which was marred by Cuarto holding to survive for much of the later rounds.
The fight started with Taduran looking to be the aggressor, but it wasn't long until Cuarto found his range and used the ring well to counter Taduran's aggression and press . It was as if the fight had started in round 12 of their rivalry, and neither seemed to feel too much of a need to ease their way into the bout. This made a fun start to the action, but also one that had more than it's share of holding, and wrestling as the stances, as Cuarto tried to thwart Taduran up close.
In round 2 we had the first moment of drama, as Taduran touched down following a scrappy series of shots from Cuarto, ended with a left hand that sent Taduran off balance. The knockdown wasn't a painful one for Taduran but did secure Cuarto a 10-8 round.
We had more drama the following round when Cuarto was punished for an intentional headbutt, losing 2 points for the infraction. The headbutt wasn't the first time Cuarto's head had been involved in the fight, but was a pretty blatant one which left the referee with little option but to remove points from the champion and give him a very stern warning before looking through Tarudan's hair for a cut. Although it didn't appear there was much, if any blood, this wouldn't be the only time heads would collide in the bout.
The flash point in round 3 seemed to serve as a wake up to both men to sort stuff out and the fight clean up afterwards, with Taduran again becoming the aggressor and Cuarto the boxer. The aggression of power of Taduran certainly caught the eye, though so did the boxing, moving and counter punching skills of Cuarto who moved well and picked his spots very well, despite being under intense pressure late in the round. Round 5 was much like round 4, with Taduran applying pressure, and the bout being a very hard one to call as both were incredibly competitive in some great back and forth.
As we looked to be heading towards a really good fight we then ended up with more drama in round 6 as we got the second knockdown, which was an odd one as Taduran seemed to get pushed down and have a count put against him. The drama for the round however wasn't over and a headclash, just moments later, lead to Taduran being cut on the hair line. This time blood was pouring from his head and the doctor was forced to have an inspection. Taduran passed the inspection but by the end of the round his face was a crimson mask. The two men began round 7 but it wasn't long until the cut was a mess again, and this time the doctor said enough was enough, and halted the bout.
The stoppage from the doctor lead to the bout being stopped and us going to the scorecards early in round 7. The cards were, understandably, odd looking but close, with scores of 65-64 to Cuarto, 65-65 even and 66-64 to Cuarto who retained his title with a majority technical decision.
If we're being honest we feel that Cuarto is a very lucky boy here. Both knockdown calls were some what questionable and the repeated headclashes could have seen him DQ'd, especially after the early deductions. If Ginjiro Shigeoka and his team are sniffing around for a world title it wouldn't be a huge shock to see them target Cuarto after this bout.
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.