Philippine boxing

All-Filipino battle looms for WBA title

Roy Luarca
Filipinos Vic Saludar and Robert Paradero face off for the WBA minimumweight title

An all-Filipino battle between Vic Saludar and Robert Paradero will be waged in September for the World Boxing Association (WBA) minimumweight title at the Elorde Sports Center in Parañaque City.

This developed as longtime champion Knockout CP Freshmart (Thammanaon Niyomtrong) is reportedly vacating the throne he has defended 12 times since 2016.

Though Saludar is ranked No. 7 and Paradero No. 10 in the 105-pound division, the WBA can make it a title fight if the unbeaten Freshmart (21-0, 7 knockouts) chooses to move up.

According to a highly placed source, chances of the WBA sanctioning the Saludar-Paradero title duel is at least 80% because it would be more convenient to stage the title fight in the Philippines, where both boxers live, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Holding it in Thailand would require the boxers, their team members, ring officials, and the media to be quarantined.

The 29-year-old Saludar, the former World Boxing Organization champion, holds a 20-4 record with 11 knockouts, including one over Mike Kinaadman last December 21.

The 24-year-old Paradero is unbeaten (18-0) with 12 knockouts, including one over Jonathan Almacen in his last fight.

Both Saludar and Paradero were from the stable of Kenneth Rontal, with the latter eventually transferring to the stable of Bebot Elorde, who is now his business manager.

Another Filipino, Pedro Taduran, holds the International Boxing Federation minimumweight belt. –