By LITO DELOS REYES
DAVAO CITY – Victorio “Vicious” Saludar of Polomolok beat Robert “Inggo” Paradero of Bukidnon by a split decision to win the vacant World Boxing Association World minimumweight championship title at the Binan City of Laguna today (Feb. 20).
It was a controversial win as Paradero really taught he was the winner.
Judge Aquila Tamano scored it 115-113 while lawyer-judge Danrex Tapdasan saw it 116-112 both for Saludar. Judge Alfie Jocosol, on the other hand, scored it for Paradero at 118-110.
Saludar started slow as Paradero was more aggressive since the beginning of the fight. Saludar got a cut on his forehead while Paradero had a wound on his right eye in the 2nd round.
But Saludar also became aggressive as he fought Paradero from toe to toe till the end of the 12-round.
Saludar, former WBO World minimumweight champion now has 21 wins with four loses while Paradero suffered his first casualty after 18 wins with 12 knockouts.
Saludar is also the reigning Asia Boxing Federation minimumweight champion.
Meanwhile, undefeated Carl Jammes Martin of Ifugao scored a 5th round knockout over Joe Tejones in the super bantamweight as the supporting main event.
The other results: Rechel Calo of Elorde Boxing Gym beat Ruel Panales of Dasmarinas by a majority decision; Eugene Noynay of Elorde scored a majority decision over Jerico Tanate of Olivetti Boxing Gym in a very close fight; Archiel Villamor of Elorde won by a unanimous decision over Leslie Manalo of Dy Incredible.
The bubble boxing event, which was dubbed as “Night of Champions XXII” was promoted by Gabriel “Bebot” Elorde Jr. of the Elorde International Promotion.
It was postponed several times due to the pandemic.
The event was sponsored by Ginebra San Miguel, Pagcor, Jun Soriano Realty, Water Boy System, Fairtex and Elorde Sports Center.