Saludar stuns Japanese foe in 1st round TKO win to bag OPBF title
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Former world title challenger Froilan “The Sniper” Saludar shocked Japanese boxing fans when he knocked out Keita Kurihara in the undercard of Johnriel Casimero-Yukinori Oguni bout on Thursday evening, October 12, 2023, at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo, Japan.
The 34-year-old Saludar, the older brother of former world champion Vic Saludar, bagged the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) bantamweight strap from his shocking victory against the favored hometown boxer.
Saludar, who fights under Sanman Boxing Gym of General Santos City, mauled Kurihara right after the bell rang in the opening round.
He landed vicious combinations that sent Kurihara down to the canvas in the first 30 seconds of the opening round of their scheduled 12-rounder duel.
Kurihara stood back on his feet but was clearly dazed from Saludar’s combinations.
The Japanese threw a left overhand which was quickly countered by Saludar with a stinging right hook that knocked the latter down anew.
Incredibly, Kurihara managed to stand back on his feet again despite the vicious knockdown.
Sensing victory, Saludar went for the kill by unleashing another flurry of punches that forced the referee to stop the bout at exactly the one-minute mark of the first round.
The win improved Saludar’s record to 34 victories, 24 knockouts, seven defeats, and one draw. It was a fitting comeback for Saludar following his devastating second-round TKO loss against Mexican Luis Nery in July.
Meanwhile, Kurihara suffered his eighth loss with 17 wins, 15 knockouts, and one draw.
On the other hand, another of Sanman Boxing’s pug, ex-world title challenger, Vince Paras scored an eight-round split decision win against Japanese Kai Ishizawa.
Paras got the nod from judges’ Shuhei Terayama (78-74) and Toshio Sugiyama (77-75) to earn the split decision win. Judge Koji Tanaka saw the bout differently scoring 77-75 for Ishizawa.
Paras stretched his winning streak to four while improving his record to 20-2-1 (win-loss-draw) with 15 knockouts.
Ishizawa absorbed his third defeat with 11 wins and 10 knockouts.
Despite Saludar and Paras’ impressive victories on Thursday evening, two other Filipino boxers in Jeo Santisima and RV Deniega faltered in their respective bouts.
Santisima lost to Kenji Fujita by unanimous decision in their eight-rounder bout, while Deniega was defeated by American Saul Sanchez, also by unanimous decision. / dcb
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