FORMER world champion Vic Saludar and unbeaten up-and-comer Robert Paradero will be fighting for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) minimumweight Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, in another All-Filipino world title fight at the Biñan Football Stadium in Biñan City, Laguna.
The 30-year-old Saludar has long been one of the best 105-pounders in the world.
He’s ranked by the prestigious The Ring Magazine at No. 6 just behind WBA Super champion Knockout CP Freshmart, World Boxing Council (WBC) titleholder Petchmanee CP Freshmart, former long-time WBC champion Wanheng Menayothin, World Boxing Organization (WBO) champion Wilfredo Mendez and Byron Rojas. He’s also ranked No. 4 by the WBA and No. 2 by the WBO.
After losing his first crack at a world title against Japanese star Kosei Tanaka, Saludar snagged the WBO minimumweight belt by dethroning Ryuya Yamanaka by unanimous decision in 2018 in Japan. He successfully defended his WBO belt in 2019 with a unanimous decision over Masataka Taniguchi in Japan before losing his belt to Mendez by unanimous decision later that year in Puerto Rico. Saludar bounced back from that loss with a sixth round knockout win over Mike Kinaadman.
Paradero, on the other hand, isn’t as experienced as his opponent, Saludar, but he’s equally talented.
Though Paradero hasn’t faced an opponent of Saludar’s caliber, he is undefeated and has beaten the likes of Jonathan Almacen, RR Borbon and Charlie Malupangue.
Saludar is 20-4 with 11 knockouts, while Paradero is 18-0 with 12 knockouts.
In the main supporting bout, Ifugao boxing sensation Carl Jammes Martin is tested against tough veteran Joe Tejones.
Martin is coming off a unanimous decision win over rugged Richard Rosales, one of his toughest tests to date, on Dec. 18, 2020 in Mandaue City.
Tejones, on the other hand, has not fought since losing to Tsuyoshi Tameda via a fifth round knockout on Sept. 17, 2019 in Japan.
Martin is 16-0 with 14 knockouts, while Tejones is 13-7 with seven knockouts. (EKA)