A NEW champion has been crowned after Rene Mark Cuarto dethroned International Boxing Federation (IBF) minimumweight titleholder Pedro Taduran by unanimous decision in an all-Filipino world championship bout on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, at the Bula Gym in Gen. Santos City.
Cuarto, who fights under Manny Pacquiao’s MP Promotions banner, got the better of Taduran in the 12-round world title fight. Judges Alberto Dulalas, Sabas Ponpon Jr. and Roel Deasing scored in unison with identical 115-113 scores for the challenger Cuarto.
It was a very close contest but Cuarto made a late run that clinched him the title, which was evident in the judges scorecards. He won the last four rounds in the two judges’ card, while he won three of the last four in the other judges score card.
The 24-year-old Cuarto improved to 19-2-2 with 11 knockouts, while Taduran dropped to 14-3-1 with 11 knockouts.
It was a very fulfilling win for Cuarto, who patiently waited for a title shot. He had a chance to fight for the same vacant belt in 2019 but lost the opportunity after suffering a unanimous decision defeat in the hands of Samuel Salva. Cuarto, rated No. 3 by the IBF, had three more fights before getting his shot at a world title two years later.
Cuarto joins World Boxing Association (WBA) minimumweight champion Vic Saludar, IBF super flyweight king Jerwin Ancajas and World Boxing Organization (WBO) bantamweight titleholder Johnriel Casimero as the country’s world champions.
Vicent Astrolabio (16-3, 12 KOs) made quick work of Jerry Pabila (6-5, 4 KOs) and stopped him in the opening round of the main supporting bout.
In the undercard, Orlie Silvestre (16-6-2, 8 KOs) defeated Bonjun Loperez (12-15-1, 6 KOs) by unanimous decision, Genisis Libranza (20-1, 12 KOs) knocked out former world title challenger John Mark Apolinario (20-15-3, 5 KOs) in the first round, Reymark Ibones (4-0-3, 2 KOs) settled to a technical draw with Ramel Antaran (4-14-2), Jayar Inson (19-3, 12 KOs) walked away with a split decision over veteran Jose Ocampo (20-14-1, 13 KOs) and Lienard Sarcon (8-0, 3 KOs) remained unbeaten with a third round stoppage over Mark Glen Antaran (4-3-3, 3 KOs). (EKA)