SPORTS SHORTS 61: VICIOUS VIC SALUDAR IS WORLD CHAMPION AGAIN IN THE FOURTH ALL-FILIPINO WORLD TITLE FIGHT
By Maloney L. Samaco
Sun, 21 Feb 2021
“Vicious” Vic Saludar becomes a world champion again, winning the World Boxing Association (WBA) world minimumweight title after beating Robert “Super Inggo” Paradero in an all-Filipino world title fight in Biñan, Laguna last Saturday. The battle was so stiff for 12 rounds, resulting in a split decision in favor of Saludar. Judges Aquil Tamano scored the bout at 115-113, and Danrex Tapdasan had at 116-112, both for Saludar. The third judge Alfie Jocosol saw it for Paradero at 118-110.
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It was the fourth All-Filipino world title fight in boxing history. The first match was involving the legendary Pancho Villa who successfully defended his flyweight crown against Clever Sencio at Wallace Field, now known as Luneta, in 1925. he next two happened in 2018 featuring the Jerwin Ancajas-Jonas Sultan duel for the IBF super flyweight title on May 26, 2018 at the Save Mart Center, Fresno, California, and then the Donnie Nietes-Aston Palicte showdown for the WBO super flyweight crown at The Forum in Inglewood, California on September 8, 2018.
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The 30-year old Saludar, a former World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimumweight world champion from Polomolok, South Cotabato, raised his record to 21 wins, four losses with 11 KOs. The 24-year old Paradero from Malaybalay City, Bukidnon suffered his first defeat with 18 wins and 12 KOs. The last time Saludar fought was in December 21, 2019 winning a 6th round KO of Mike Kinaadman. Paradero's last assignment was a first round KO of Jonathan Almacen on April 5, 2019. Both Saludar and Paradero were inactive due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the title bout was postponed twice due to the same reason.
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The WBA title became vacant when unbeaten long-reigning titlist Thailand's Knockout CP Freshmart a.k.a Thammanoon Niyomtrong was elevated to WBA “Super” strawweight champion last March. Saludar serves as one of the four remaining Filipino boxing world champions after Manny Pacquiao became WBA welterweight "champion in recess" due to inactivity. The other remaining Filipino boxing world champions are IBF world super flyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas, WBO world bantamweight champion Johnriel Casimero, and IBF world minimumweight champion Pedro Taduran
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Victorio "Vic" Saludar was successful as an amateur fighter. He won six times as a national amateur champion in the flyweight division. He won a bronze medal at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, losing in the semifinals to Birzhan Zhakypov of Kazakhstan. Saludar has two brothers who are also into boxing. Rey Saludar won a gold medal at the 2010 Asian Games, and Froilan Saludar is a former world flyweight title challenger. Saludar suffered his first loss in his third pro bout, fracturing his hand during a six-round match against journeyman Powell Balaba. He was forced to retire on the stool after four rounds, having previously dropped Balaba in the first stanza in a fight held November 23, 2013. He was able to avenge his loss to Powell Balaba in a rematch by unanimous decision in Cagayan de Oro City.
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He won the vacant WBO Asia Pacific minimumweight title via a very impressive first round TKO of Indonesian Rizky Pratama on September 9, 2015 before his hometown fans in Polomolok. Saludar was unsuccessful in his first attempt at the world title challenging Kosei Tanaka for the WBO minimumweight championship. But he was knocked out in the 6th round by a powerful left hook to the body. Saludar floored Tanaka in the 6th, and had won every round on two of the three scorecards before the unexpected stoppage.
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Saludar suffered his third career loss to Toto Landero, in a split decision on June 10, 2017 in Mandaue City. He would earn a second shot at the WBO minimumweight title against Ryuya Yamanaka on July 13, 2018 at the Central Gym in Kobe, Japan winning a unanimous decision with the scores 116-111, 117-110 and 115-112 and became a world champion. Yamanaka suffered a subdural hematoma after being hit several times during the fight and retired after the loss. It was only his second title defense.
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Saludar returned to Japan where he won his world title, this time winning over Masataka Taniguchi by unanimous decision to retain the WBO minimumweight title on February 26, 2019 in Tokyo. The scores were 118-110 on one judge's card and 117-111 on the other two. Saludar faced Wilfredo Mendez of Puerto Rico in his next defense and lost by a unanimous decision to relinquish his WBO minimumweight title at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico on August 24, 2019. The scores were 117-110, 115-112, and 116-111, giving Puerto Rico its only male world champion that time after several losses of its top fighters. This in spite of Saludar scoring the only knockdown of the fight in the 3rd round.
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Dallas Mavericks star Luka Doncic was named a starter for the All-Star Game next month, making many Portland fans shocked and even disgusted that he got the slot over Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard. Surprisingly, Doncic is also one of those surprised. "I didn’t expect that I was going to start this game,” Doncic said Saturday, via ESPN. “I know that maybe [Damian] Lillard deserved it more than me.” Lillard is averaging 29.8 points and 7.7 assists. The 21-year-old Doncic is averaging a career-high 29.1 points, 9.4 assists and 8.6 rebounds this season for the Mavericks.
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Mansueto "Onyok" Velasco Jr. from Bago, Negros Occidental, won a silver medal in the light-flyweight class at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, the Philippines' only medal at those Games. He is the younger brother of Roel Velasco, a light-flyweight boxer who won a bronze medal at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics.
Defeated Chih-Hsiu Tsai (Taiwan) RSC 1 (2:27)
Defeated Yosvani Aguilera (Cuba) 14–5
Defeated Hamid Berhili (Morocco) 20–10
Defeated Rafael Lozano (Spain) 22–10
Lost to Daniel Petrov Bojilov (Bulgaria) 6–19
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.
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