Saludar defends boxing gold

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Thursday, May 22, 2014


FORMER Barangay Una Boxing Team-Davao del Norte mainstay Rey Saludar defended his men's flyweight gold medal Wednesday in the 2014 Philippine Olympic Committee-Philippine Sports Commission (POC-PSC) National Games boxing competition at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Malate, Manila.

Saludar beat fellow national team member Roldan Bongcales of General Santos City via split decision.

Saludar, in a Facebook interview with Sun.Star Davao yesterday, said, "Na head-butt ko sa third round, gipahunong ko sa doktor. Pero gi-total ang iskor daug gihapon ko (I was head-butt in the third round so the doctor stopped the fight. But when our scores were tallied, I won by split decision)."

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The 26-year-old Polomolok, South Cotabato native, the country's lone gold medalist in the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, said his headbutt wound still hurts. He and Bongcales fought with no head gears based on the new Aiba ruling.

"Sakit kayo akong ulo pero dili naman kailangan magpatahi o magpa-ospital. Bag-o man gudang ruling sa iba nga dili na mag head gear ang elite amateur boxers (My head still aches but I didn't need a stitch or be hospitalized. It's the new Aiba rule that elite amateur boxers will no longer wear head gears)," Saludar said.

He added that Bongcales was a tough opponent being also a member of the Philippine team.

Saludar started boxing in 2001, at age 11, under Coach Ramon Vicente who brought them to Kapalong, Davao del Norte in 2003. The lack of support in Kapalong prompted Rey and younger brother Vic to join the Barangay Una Boxing Team formed by then Cong. Tonyboy Floirendo. With a full backing from Barangay Una boxing management, the Saludar brothers competed in every regional and national tournament they can get their hands on.

Rey, however, joined the national team in August, 2006 while Vic made it to the national squad in 2010.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 23, 2014.

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