IBF Champion Cuarto defends belt in Mexico

·2 min read

International Boxing Federation (IBF) minimumweight champion Rene Mark Cuarto makes his second world title defense on July 2, 2022 against Mexican challenger Daniel Valladares in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

Both Cuarto and Valladares tipped the scales at the minimumweight limit of 105 pounds during the weigh-in on July 1.

The 25-year-old Cuarto will be defending his belt for the first time overseas after fighting his two previous world title fights in the Philippines against his nemesis Pedro Taduran.

Cuarto dethroned Taduran of the IBF belt with a unanimous decision in 2021 in General Santos City. The two had a rematch early this year and Cuarto won via a sixth-round technical decision in Digos City, Davao del Sur.

Meanwhile, Valladares dropped down from light flyweight to minimumweight to challenge Cuarto.

Valladares, rated No. 3 by the IBF, won his last three contests.

He stopped unheralded Abraham Gonzalez in the fourth round and former youth champion Julian Yedras in the third. He also beat Jose Javier Torres via unanimous decision.

Valladares, who hasn’t fought for close to a year, challenged Taduran for the same belt in 2020. The fight ended with a draw.

Valladares has also fought and beaten Pinoy pugs, with the likes of former world champion Merlito Sabillo and world-ranked Christian Araneta.

Cuarto is 20-2-2 with 11 knockouts, while the 28-year-old Valladares is 25-3-1 with 15 knockouts. He is one of the last two current world champions of the Philippines after Johnriel Casimero and Nonito Donaire Jr. lost their world titles this year. World Boxing Council featherweight king Mark Magsayo is the only other remaining Filipino world champion. He’s set to defend his title on July 9 against former world champion Rey Vargas in San Antonio, Texas.

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