VIC Saludar becomes a two-time world champion after winning the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) minimumweight belt in a split decision over previously unbeaten Robert Paradero Saturday afternoon, Feb. 20, 2021, at the Biñan Football Stadium in Biñan City.
Saludar got the nod of two of the three judges with scores of 115-113 and 116-112. The other judge’s card was way off from the two other judges with a one-sided score of 118-110 for Paradero.
The fight though was very close from start to finish between two world-class fighters with polarizing styles. Paradero was the aggressive slugger that was very effective with his haymakers, while Saludar was the calm tactician who scored on points with his counterpunching.
The 24-year-old Paradero immediately let Saludar feel his power by landing a whopping overhand right in the opening round.
Saludar, however, was very patient and didn’t get lured into a brawl with Paradero. Saludar fought intelligently and scored with his combinations when Paradero missed with his haymakers.
In the end, the 30-year-old Saludar did enough to walk away with the win and join the ranks of Pedro Taduran, Johnriel Casimero and Jerwin Ancajas as the Philippines’ current world champions.
Saludar improved to 21-4 with 11 knockouts, while Paradero suffered his first career loss and dropped to 18-1 with 12 knockouts.
Saludar, The Ring Magazine’s No. 6 rated minimumweight, once held the World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimumweight title in 2018 after beating Japanese Ryuya Yamanaka by unanimous decision in Japan. He successfully defended the belt once against Masataka Taniguchi before losing his WBO belt to current champion Wilfredo Mendez by unanimous decision in Puerto Rico in 2019.
On the other hand, Ifugao sensation Carl Jammes Martin (17-0, 15 KOs) continues to impress after a fifth-round knockout win over veteran Joe Tejones (13-8, 7 KOs) in the main supporting bout of Elorde International Production’s “bubble” boxing show.
Martin battered Tejones the whole fight and finished him off with a bone-crushing right hook to the body.
Meanwhile, Denmark Quibido (11-0-1, 6 KOs) stopped Kier Clenton Espere (3-2-1, 1 KO) in the second round after the latter’s corner threw in the towel. (EKA)