Expect an all-out war when Filipino boxers Vic Saludar and Robert Paradero clash for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) minimum weight championship on February 20.
Filipino promoter Bebot Elorde of the Elorde International Promotions Inc. said Friday that this gives honor to the Philippines since another Filipino pride will be crowned as champion.
“Karangalan ito para sa ating mga Pinoy kasi kahit sino ang manalo Pinoy ang champion,” said Elorde when contacted by Manila Bulletin. “Maganda laban, yan ang maaasahan natin.”
The 30-year-old Saludar is a former champion when he won the mini-flyweight championship of the World Boxing Organization against Ryuya Yamanaka of Japan in July 2018.
Saludar, who hails from Polomolok, lost the crown to Wilfredo Mendez of Puerto Rico in August 2019, but came back with a sixth round knockout victory on fellow Filipino Mike Kinaadman in December that year, which improved his record to 20 wins with 11 knockouts and four defeats.
The 24-year-old Paradero, on the other hand, is undefeated in 18 fights with 12 knockouts. He is a native of Malaybalay City in Bukidnon.
The fight was originally set January 30, but has been moved next month upon the request of Saludar and his management since Mindanao is on a lockdown because of COVID-19 pandemic.
Elorde said they approved the request since Saludar and his group would be arriving on the 16th of this month if they push through with the original date of the title fight.
“Hindi kasi makakaalis si Vic Saludar sa Mindanao kung saan siya manggaling. They’re on a lockdown. Then the protocol requires them of a 14-day quarantine, so two weeks… hindi aabot,” said Elorde.
“Humiling yung manager ni Saludar ng postponement. Sinca pumayag naman ang WBA, kaya we reset it to February 20.”
The venue, Elorde said, is still being finalized.
He said that the original plan was to hold the fight in their facility in Paranaque City, but since the implementation of general community quarantine (GCQ) is still in effect, they are looking at Binan, Laguna.
“Kasi sa Binan they’re MGCQ (Modified General Community Quarantine). But if maging MGCQ na sa Paranaque before the February 20 fight, malamang doon namin gawin. If not, sa Binan kami,” said Elorde.
“Naka-ilang postponement na kami… September originally but because of the pandemic, namu-move palagi. Maganda kasi ito vacant title fight, gusto ko matuloy ang fight.”
Aside from the Saludar-Paradero match, Ben Ligas of the Elorde boxing stable and Alphoe Dagayloan of Quibors Boxing Team will also face off for the vacant Philippine Championship in the supporting main event.
Elorde said that he is likely to add a few more four-round fights for the February 20 event.