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Pre-Christmas all-Filipino world title fight set

Former WBO minimumweight champion Vic Saludar is scheduled for a world title shot at home before Christmas.
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--If the COVID-19 situation in Paranaque eases up by Dec. 5, a world boxing title bout could take place there.

Filipino boxing fans could get an early Christmas gift as the vacant World Boxing Association minimumweight title is at stake in a bout scheduled for that date between Filipino pugs Vic Saludar and Robert Paradero at the Elorde Sports Center in the said city.

WBA already sanctioned the match initially scheduled for Sept. 26 but has been moved to December due to the current state of Paranaque amid the pandemic.

Games and Amusements Board chairman Baham Mitra told Dugout Philippines on Tuesday that his agency has yet to give Elorde Boxing the clearance to host the fight but is leaning towards it as long as the trend of the COVID-19 curve stays the same or even becomes better.

"Hindi pa namin ini-issue-an ng permit kasi matagal pa naman," Mitra said.

GAB said upon the release of professional sports practice protocols that fight sports events can only push through in places under the lightest COVID-19 restriction, the modified general community quarantine.

Metro Manila has been under the classic GCQ since Aug. 19, but University of the Philippines professor Guido David said last week that the province, despite still being the top COVID-19 hot spot, has already flattened the curve, meaning it can be placed under MGCQ as soon as Oct. 1.

If the bout pushes through as scheduled, the Saludar-Paradero clash will be the fourth all-Filipino world title match in three years and the second consecutive clash that the Philippines will host.

Saludar, the former World Boxing Organization champ, is ranked fourth in the WBA ranking, while Paradero, who sports a perfect 18-0 record with 12 knockouts, is just below Saludar at number five.

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