Vic Saludar, left, takes on Robert Paradero for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) minimumweight title on Feb. 20 in Biñan, Laguna.

The first world title fight is set as Filipino boxers Vic Saludar and Robert Paradero were given clearance to battle it out for the vacant World Boxing Association (WBA) minimumweight championship on Saturday, Feb. 19, at the Binañ Football Stadium in Laguna.

Promoter Bebot Elorde of the Elorde International Promotions Inc. said that Paradero and Saludar were cleared after the saliva test for COVID-19 showed negative results the other day.

“We’re all good, we’re all prepared for the fight. Tests were done on the boxers, as well as their trainers, the officials,” said Elorde in Filipino in a telephone interview Friday with Manila Bulletin.

“We’re excited of course, considering that this is the first world title fight in our country under strict health measures to avoid infection of COVID-19. The boxers and their team were in quarantine before the weigh-in so everything is in place before, during and after the fight.”

At the weigh-in held at the Dino Olivetti Boxing Gym in Binañ, Laguna, Saludar tipped the scales at 140 pounds, while the younger unbeaten Paradero was a bit heavier at 140.4 pounds.

The 30-year-old Saludar is a former champion when he won the mini-flyweight championship of the World Boxing Organization against Ryuya Yamanaka of Japan in July 2018.

Saludar, who is Polomolok, lost the crown to Wilfredo Mendez of Puerto Rico in August 2019, but came back with a sixth round knockout victory on fellow Filipino Mike Kinaadman in December that year, which improved his record to 20 wins with 11 knockouts and four defeats.

The 24-year-old Paradero, on the other hand, is undefeated in 18 fights with 12 knockouts. He is a native of Malaybalay City in Bukidnon.

The fight was originally set January 30, but has been moved upon the request of Saludar and his management since Mindanao was on a lockdown because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Aside from the Saludar-Paradero match, Ben Ligas of the Elorde boxing stable and Alphoe Dagayloan of Quibors Boxing Team will also face off for the vacant Philippine Championship in the supporting main event.

Source: Manila Bulletin (