NEWLY crowned World Boxing Association (WBA) minimumweight world champion Vic “The Vicious” Saludar is now setting his sight on the winner between International Boxing Federation (IBF) minimumweight champion Pedro Taduran and challenger Rene Cuarto next week.
Saludar, 30, made it to the elite list of Filipino world champions last Saturday in Biñan, Laguna, after booking a controversial split decision victory over Robert Paradero—115-113, 116-112 and 110-118 scores by judges Mohammad Aquil Tamano, Danrex Tapdasan and Alfie Tocosol.
“It will be a great fight between Pedro Taduran and Rene Cuarto because they are preparing very well. I would like to meet the winner someday through a unification bout if there’s an opportunity depending on the decision of my promoter too,” Saludar (21-4 win-loss record with 11 knockouts) told BusinessMirror on Sunday.
The Taduran-Cuarto all-Filipino world title showdown is set on Saturday at the Bula Gym in General Santos City. It will be aired live on social media.
“I think Taduran has the edge in that fight, but Cuarto is also a good fighter,” added Saludar, who also hopes to regain his first world title—the World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimumweight belt he relinquished to Wilfredo Mendez of Puerto Rico via unanimous decision last August 24, 2019, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
“I am willing to face anyone, the WBO belt is still with Mendez. Hopefully, I can have my rematch but it depends on my promoter,” he said.
Saludar, a resident of Cagayan de Oro City, joined current world champions IBF super flyweight titleholder Jerwin Ancajas, WBO bantamweight champion Johnriel Casimero and Taduran as the country’s present world boxing champions.
The two-time world champion Saludar banked $5,000 (P242,450.00) from the fight organized by Gabriel “Bebot” Elorde Jr.
Paradero, 24, expressed disappointment on the decisions of the judges but promised to come back stronger. He suffered his first defeat in 19 pro fights with 12 knockout wins.