Froilan Saludar decisions tough Mexican Tirado at Cuneta
Saludar, 23, who had won 8 of his 16 previous bouts by knockout in the first two rounds, was forced to go the 12 round distance for the first time, defeating tough-as-nails Mexican Jose Alfredo Tirado by unanimous decision. The scores - 120-108, 119-109 and 118-110 - did not reflect the competitive nature of the bout, which headlined "Kamao: Kidat at Maso," the maiden promotion of Anson Tiu Co's Shape Up Boxing Promotions.
"No matter how hard I hit him, he never seemed to get hurt," said Saludar, who is the WBO's number two-rated contender. "He is the toughest man I've ever fought. I learned so much from this fight."
Saludar (16-0, 11 knockouts) of Digos City, Davao del Sur started out landing effectively with his right cross, looping it around the high guard of Tirado (27-12, 19 KOs) at times. Undeterred, Tirado continued to press forward, landing hard body shots and the occasional right cross to Saludar's face.
It looked as if Saludar had found something when in the third round, he landed a right uppercut to Tirado's body that immediately seemed to hurt him. Tirado, who holds a victory over former super flyweight world champion Cristian Mijares, recovered and continued to press forward, befuddling Saludar at times with rough in-fighting and clinching while neutralizing Saludar's best weapon in that long right cross.
Entering into eleventh round for the first time, Saludar showed heart that he never had to exhibit, putting on a clinic as he landed hard right crosses that stunned Tirado again. Saludar had another impressive stanza in the twelfth, solidifying the victory.
Saludar, who is the brother of National Team members Victorio and Rey Saludar, was fighting for just the second time in the last year.
The fight will be broadcast on GMA News TV on Sunday, September 23 at 10 p.m.
Just prior to that, Mark Jason Melligen (23-3, 16 KOs) of Bacolod City continued his comeback trail with a confidence-building second round knockout of overmatched Thai Sapapetch Sor Sakaorat (28-11, 18 KOs). The time was 2:08.
Melligen scored two knockdowns in the first round on glancing blows as the Thai, who had lost nine times by knockout previously, seemed overwhelmed. Melligen scored once again in the second with a perfect straight left that dropped Sor Sakaorat again. The referee immediately halted the bout.
Melligen, who was once rated in the top 15 of most of the recognized sanctioning organizations, has been building back his confidence following a devastating knockout defeat to Sebastian Lujan last July in Texas.
Following the loss, Melligen was released from his deal with Las Vegas-based promoter Top Rank and subsequently asked for his released from Cebu-based promotional outfit ALA Boxing Promotions. Melligen is now promoted by Sammy Gello-ani.
The most flawless performance of the night belonged to Jerwin Ancajas, a super flyweight prospect from Davao Del Norte who was supposed to be facing his toughest challenge to date in Sonora, Mexico's Miguel Tamayo.
Instead it turned out to be the most comprehensive boxing lesson of the 20-year-old Ancajas' career as his accurate southpaw jab, educated ring generalship and combination punching broke down the aggressive Mexican, forcing the ref to stop the bout with just 14 seconds remaining in the tenth and final round.
Ancajas (15-1-1, 7 KOs) has every conceivable tool a prizefighter could want, save for big punching power. Ancajas rarely needed to use more than his right jab to dominate his foe, snapping Tamayo's head back when he targeted his face and sapping his strength when he target his midsection. A left cross finally hurt Tamayo in the final round, and as he covered up on the ropes to protect himself, Ancajas poured on the punishment until the referee halted the bout at the 2:46 mark.
"He's not that good but he's tough," said Ancajas. "He's eager to attack so I took advantage of it."
Ancajas has now won his last two bouts since sustaining his first defeat to Mark Anthony Geraldo in Cebu this past March. "My first loss helped me a lot because from there on I started to train more. I don't waste time," said Ancajas. Tamayo's defeat snaps his own ten fight unbeaten streak.
The six-round scheduled light flyweight between unbeaten upstarts Macrea Gandionco (5-0-1, 3 KOs) of Baguio City and Arnold Garde (2-0-1, 1 KOs) of Cotabato del Norte came to a disappointing ending when a clash of heads produced a cut on Gandionco's right eye, halting the bout at 0:31 seconds of round two. The fight was declared a no decision.
In bantamweight action, Danilo Gabisay (2-0,1 KOs) of Bulacan survived a first round knockdown to drop Larry Abarra (1-2-1, 1 KOs) of Baguio City en route to a split decision victory. The scores were 57-55 and 57-56 for Gabisay, while the third scored it 57-55 for Abarra.
Abarra, who is half Filipino/half African-American, struck first, knocking Gabisay to the floor in the opening moments of the fight on a brilliantly thrown right uppercut-left hook combination. Abarra failed to press his advantage though, and in the third round it was him who was on the canvas from a perfect right cross from Gabisay. As the fight wore on, it was Gabisay who seemed to want the victory more, which ultimately carried him to a decision.
The "pro debut" jitters were visibly apparent in upstarts Jonathan Dela Cruz of Baguio City and Dominador Mantes of Paranaque City, with both men beginning their super bantamtweight four round bout like it was a one-round cockfight. Yet after four rounds, Dela Cruz (1-0) was able to outland his opponent, batting him down in the final round to win a unanimous decision. The scores were 40-36 twice, with a third scoring it 39-37.
In the curtain-jerker, Michael Dasmarinas (5-1, 3 KOs) of Libon, Albay survived a tough challenge from Junjie Lauza (1-5) in a six-round flyweight bout, winning a unanimous decision by the scores of 59-55, 59-56 and 58-56. The southpaw Dasmarinas had a hard time holding off the shorter Lauza in the early rounds as he looked to time the awkward lunges of Lauza. As the rounds of progressed Dasmarinas began using his jab better, setting up left uppercuts and overhand left crosses that earned him the decision.
Lauza had lost his last three bouts by knockout heading into the fight, while Dasmarinas has won twice since losing by second round knockout to Marbon Bodiongan in April. - AMD, GMA News
Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to GMA News. He is also a member of The Ring ratings panel and can be reached at email@example.com. An archive of his work can be found here. Follow him on Twitter.
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