FILE — Vic Saludar of the Philippines (C) celebrates his win over Japan’s Ryuya Yamanaka after their WBO minimumweight title boxing bout in Kobe, Hyogo prefecture on July 13, 2018. (Photo by JIJI PRESS / JIJI PRESS / AFP) / Japan OUT MANILA, Philippines — Former boxing world champion Vic Saludar will headline the first world title fight in the country since the COVID-19 pandemic started when he takes on compatriot Robert Paradero on Feb. 20 in Laguna. The bout is for the vacant WBA minimumweight title and will be held at an open-air football stadium in Biñan. The all-Filipino clash had already been pushed back twice due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The two were originally slated to fight last Dec. 5 before their encounter got moved to Jan. 30. But the delay only prolonged what promises to be an exciting matchup. “I can’t tell what’s going to happen in the fight. We’re both trained hard and prepared to win,” said Saludar in Filipino in an interview with philboxing.com. The 30-year-old Saludar (20-4, 11 KOs) is coming off a sixth-round knockout of countryman Mike Kinaadman back in December 2019 in Naga City. Paradero, meanwhile, is undefeated at 18-0 with 12 knockouts but hasn’t fought since he knocked out fellow Filipino Jonathan Almacen in April 2019. Saludar became the WBO minimumweight champion when he outpointed Japanese contender Ryuya Yamanaka in July 2018 in Kobe, Japan. He successfully defended his belt seven months later against another Japanese in Masataka Taniguchi via unanimous decision in Tokyo. Saludar’s reign, however, didn’t last long as he yielded the crown to Puerto Rican Wilfredo Mendez in San Juan, Puerto Rico in August of the same year. Read Next Don't miss out on the latest news and information. Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000. For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
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