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STORY OF PHILIPPINE BOXING PART XLVII: VIC SALUDAR, WBO WORLD MINIMUMWEIGHT CHAMPION


PhilBoxing.com




Victorio "Vic" Saludar was born November 3, 1990 in Polomolok, South Cotabato. Nicknamed "Vicious" 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.

In his professional debut he floored Juanito Hundante in the very first round for a TKO at the Solaire Hotel and Casino, Pasay City on July 13, 2013.

On September 14, 2013, he knocked out Camilo Rey Seneres in the first round again for a TKO win in Iloilo City.

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.

Saludar returned in March 2014, and won his next seven matches, against Philip Luis Cuerdo by 4th round TKO, Rey Morano by 1st round KO, Mateo Jasma by 1st round KO, Belmar Plaza by 4th round KO, JR Salvador by UD, Sherwin McDo Lungay by 1st round TKO, Lyster Jun Pronco by UD, and Michael Kaibigan by 4th round KO.

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.

Tanaka won the WBO minimumweight title in only his fifth bout from Mexico’s Julian Yadras and set a Japanese record of winning a world boxing title in the fewest number of fights.

Saludar won his next three bouts. He successfully defended his WBO Asia Pacific minimumweight title against Lito Dante by UD in General Santos City. He triumphed over Jimboy Haya to win the vacant WBO Oriental minimumweight title by UD in Cagayan de Oro City. He also avenged his loss to Powell Balaba in a rematch by UD also in CDO.

Saludar suffered his third career loss to Toto Landero, in a split decision. Landero used volume punching and aggressive style to convince two judges on June 10, 2017 in Mandaue City.

Saludar rebounded from the loss with another winning streak. He won over Mike Kinaadman by 7th round KO, Lito Dante by UD and Mike Kinaadman in a rematch by 7th round KO.

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. The champion began to feel the Filipino's heavy punches in the 4th round when he moved around the ring to evade his blows.

Yamanaka became aggressive in the 6th and worked on Saludar's body. The Japanese suffered a cut over his eye, and was knocked down in the 7th round. Saludar won 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.

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.

Saludar knocked out Mike Kinaadman in the 6th round to win the vacant Asian Boxing Federation (ABF) minimumweight belt in Naga City, Cebu. Saludar was surprised in the 1st round when he was downed by Kinaadman. But he recovered since then and hit his opponent with a body shot to stop him in the 6th round on December 21, 2019. It was their third encounter.

Saludar has a pro record of 20 wins, 11 by way of knockout, 4 defeats with 2 KO losses in 24 total bouts.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.


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