MANILA, Philippines – Fighting in hostile territory nearly cost Pedro Taduran his International Boxing Federation mini flyweight crown on Saturday, February 1 (Sunday, February 2, Manila time) at the Jardin Cerveza Expo in Guadalupe, Nueva Leon, Mexico.
Taduran, despite landing clearer and stronger punches, settled for a majority draw with homegrown Daniel Valladares after the bout was cut short to 4 rounds due to a deep cut sustained by the challenger following an accidental clash of heads in the opening round.
One judge even sided with Valladares, 39-37, while the two other judges called it even, 38-38.
Thus, Taduran will return to the country with the belt he won at the expense of compatriot Samuel Salva, and his reputation as a warrior intact.
For a while, Taduran thought he won by technical knockout, praying in the corner as the referee signaled a stoppage while looking down at Valladares.
As it turned out, the ring physician ordered a halt as Valladares was unfit to continue with the bloody cut over his right eye.
The 23-year-old Taduran’s record now stands at 14-2-1 with 11 knockouts while Valladares’ ledger shows 22-1-1 with 13 knockouts, two of which came against Filipinos Christian Araneta and former world champion Merlito Sabillo in 2019.
Valladares found out Taduran was on another level, however.
While Taduran stuck to his game plan of going after the Mexican’s body, the relentless southpaw mixed it up with head blows that often landed.
Both fighters easily hit the 105-pound limit, with Taduran checking in at 104.6 pounds and Valladares coming in at 103.8.
Taduran held his training camp in La Union before flying to Mexico on January 25. The pride of Libon town in Albay province was accompanied by chief trainer Tacy Macalos, a former world champion, and handler Art Monis Taduran.
Though his face was virtually unmarked, Taduran is expected to spend a few days in the United States before returning home.
With their battle for supremacy unsettled, a rematch between Taduran and Valladares is likely to happen.
But after their experience in Mexico, Team Taduran, through MP (Manny Pacquiao) Promotions president Sean Gibbons and Hardstone Monis Boxing Gym, would likely demand Part 2 be staged on neutral ground like the US. – Rappler.com