After failing in his first attempt, Bicolano boxer Pedro Taduran finally claimed a world boxing crown on his second try.
Taduran, 22, survived a first-round knockdown by maintaining his aggressive attack en route to a fourth-round stoppage win over compatriot and erstwhile undefeated Samuel Salva Saturday night at Jurado Hall of the Philippine Marine Corp in Taguig City.
Set for 12 rounds for the vacant IBF world minimumweight crown, Taduran started the match by coming out of his corner determined to attack Salva.
Salva, 22, caught Taduran with a counter right that made the native of Libon town, Albay fall on his knees.
But Taduran was unperturbed and maintained his activity the next two rounds that helped him turn the tide in his favor.
"Sa unang title fight ko kasi, counterpunching ’yung nagpahirap sa akin kaya ’yun ang itinama ko sa training ko para dito," said Taduran. "Malaking tulong din na naka-spar ako sa Japan against a world champion."
Taduran's relentless attack, which looked wild and missed most of its target the first two rounds, finally found a rhythm going into the third and fourth rounds.
A spent Salva appeared wobbly during the break before the fifth round, forcing referee Danrex Tapdasan to wave off the match.
Salva was stretchered out of the ring.
Taduran first fought for a world title in August 2018, when he bowed to Chayaphon Moonsri of Thailand in a 12-round match held in Nakhon Sawan, Thailand.
In preparing for this match, Taduran got a big boost when he was tapped by WBC lightflyweight champion Ken Shiro as a sparmate in Japan.
The win raised Taduran's record to 14-2, 11 via knockout while Salva fell to 17-1, 10 via stoppage.
The Taduran-Salva match for the vacant IBF crown was the second time two Filipinos fought for a world crown on Philippine soil.
The first-ever all-Pinoy world title fight in the country happened on May 2, 1925, when Pancho Villa, considered the greatest Filipino boxer in the first half of the 20th century, defended his crown against Leyte-native Clever Sencio in Manila.
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