|GAB chairman Baham Mitra and Referee Danrex Tapdasan raise Pedro Taduran's hands to proclaim him the new IBF minimumweight champion. Ivan Saldajeno|
By Ivan Saldajeno
TAGUIG--Pedro Taduran became the new IBF minimumweight champion after beating erstwhile unbeaten Samuel Salva at the Philippine Navy Gynmasium on Saturday night.
Taduran bounced back from an early knockdown to take the TKO win as Salva could not continue after the fourth round of their all-Filipino showdown, only the second time two Filipinos disputed for the same world title since the heydays of Filipino boxing legend Pancho Villa and the first to take place in the Philippines.
Salva, ranked number one in the IBF prior to the bout, made an early statement by knocking the third-ranked Taduran down in Round 1.
But as the bout progressed, Taduran showed his experience in fighting for the belt, and the former WBC title contender poured it on in Rounds 3 and 4.
Just as Round 5 was about to start, Referee Danrex Tapdasan deemed that Salva, who was already inflicting hits to the head in the previous two rounds even leading to a bloodied nose, could not continue after not responding to his commands, essentially giving Taduran the win and the IBF belt.
Taduran jumped to 14-2 in his career, while Salva suffered his first loss after winning his first 17 bouts.
In the supporting bout, John Zulueta issued a similar TKO win against Mark Florida for the ABF light flyweight title.
Like Salva, Florida conceded after Round 4 as he could not anymore take some damage from the already dominating Zulueta.
Zulueta remains unbeaten with 11 wins and two draws, while Florida slipped to 12-9.
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