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Saludar wins but rematch looms


PhilBoxing.com




Robert (Inggo) Paradero celebrated too early and paid a hefty price for showboating in the last two rounds as veteran Vic Saludar stepped up the pace down the stretch to eke out a split 12-round decision for the vacant regular WBA minimumweight crown in a makeshift ring at the lobby of the Binan football stadium last Saturday.

The fight was action-packed from the start with Paradero attacking relentlessly, often wildly, and Saludar counterpunching like a master technician. At least twice, Saludar grimaced from body shots but was never in danger of going down. After the fight, Saludar said he wasn’t fazed by Paradero’s aggressiveness. “Malakas siya pero sanay na ako d'yan,” he said. Saludar’s experience was evident by the poise he displayed in sweeping the last two rounds in two of the three judges’ scorecards to seal the deal.

Judge Aquil Tamano had it 115-113 and judge Danrex Tapdasan, 116-112, both for Saludar while judge Alfie Jocosol saw it 118-110 for Paradero. If Paradero only took one of the last two rounds in Tamano’s scorecard, it would’ve been a split draw. GAB chairman Baham Mitra, acting as WBA title fight supervisor at ringside, said he’ll review Jocosol’s tally which seemed to be way off. Paradero’s manager Dr. Glorio Sajulga said he will write the WBA to appeal for an immediate rematch. Sajulga initially thought of filing a protest which under WBA rules, comes with a $10,000 fee. But Sajulga later said he isn’t pushing to overturn the decision as his intention is only to give Paradero another chance.

Paradero, 24, was visibly upset. “Ako ang (dapat) champion,” he said. “Kung bigyan ako ng pagkakataon sa rematch, kaya kong pabagsakin si Saludar. Ang sakit sa kalooban ko na matalo ng ganito.” Sajulga claimed that 80 percent of fans’ comments in social media favored Paradero. Veteran international judge and referee Silvestre Abainza, watching from home, said he thought Paradero deserved to win. Saludar said he’ll do a rematch if that’s what his manager Kenneth Rontal agrees to. “Actually, ang motivation ni Vic ay ang hunger ni Paradero,” said Saludar’s trainer Jojo Palacios. “Si Vic laging composed at same ni Inggo na gutom kasi bread and butter niya ang boksing at alam niya ang halaga ng world title para sa kaniyang pamilya.” Promoter Bebot Elorde said if there’s a rematch, it could be held in Cagayan de Oro. “But who will promote it again if no sponsors back up the expenses?” he asked.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Joaquin Henson.


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