Saludar, Paradero dispute world minimumweight crown in December

The abundance of small Filipino warriors leads to another title clash between compatriots Vic Saludar and Robert Paradero on December 5 at the Flash Ballroom of the Elorde Sports Center in Sucat, Paranaque City.

Saludar, the former World Boxing Organization minimumweight champion, will seek the World Boxing Association version this time against the unbeaten Paradero in a closed-door affair owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Forced to defend the 105-pound title in Puerto Rico on August 24, 2019, Saludar lost to local icon Wilfredo Mendez by unanimous decision.

The 30-year-old Saludar, fighting out of Cagayan de Oro City, rebounded by knocking out Michael Kinaadman last December, raising his record to 20-4 with 11 knockouts and clinching the vacant Asian Boxing Federation crown.

He'll be tested to the hilt this time as Paradero holds an 18-0 card with 12 knockouts, the last coming at the expense of Jonathan Almacen in the first round on April 5 in Malaybalay, Bukidnon.

Paradero, 24, prevailed by unanimous decision over Royder Lloyd Borbon to capture the WBO Asia Pacific Youth minimumweight belt in 2018.

“I expect another action-packed world title fight between Saludar and Paradero,” said promoter Gabriel "Bebot" Elorde of Elorde International Productions. “Saludar is the more experienced fighter, but Paradero is still unbeaten in 18 pro fights. He is really a dangerous opponent for Saludar."

Also in the works is Pedro Taduran's defense of the International Boxing Federation minimumweight crown against countryman Rene Marc Cuarto either in December or January next year.

Taduran owns a 14-2 card with 11 knockouts while Cuarto totes an 18-2-2 slate with 11 knockouts.

Other all-Filipino title fights were between Pancho Villa and Clever Sencio in 1925, Ancajas against Jonas Sultan in 2018, and Donnie Nietes against Aston Palicte in 2019. 

The winner between Saludar and Paradero will join Manny Pacquiao (WBA welterweight), Jerwin Ancajas (IBF super flyweight), Johnriel Casimero (WBO bantamweight) and Taduran in the roster of Filipino world champions. – Rappler.com