PEDRO Taduran survived a flush first-round knockdown to stun favored Samuel Salva and win the vacant International Boxing Federation (IBF) minimumweight crown by technical knockout Saturday night before a big crowd at the Philippine Marine base in Taguig.
The 22-year-old Taduran was quick to bounce back after being caught with a short counter right by Salva in the latter part of the opening round and went on to press the action against his previously unbeaten foe.
Taduran's onslaught finally caught up with a spent Salva, who began to fade away beginning the third round after receiving a heavy pounding from the Libon, Albay native.
It was over by the end of the fourth as Salva had the look of a beaten man while he sat on the stool in his corner during the break.
Referee Danrex Tapdasan then officially stopped the fight upon the advice of ring doctor Rolando Rivera as Salva repeatedly spitted his mouthpiece while getting ready for the next round.
Salva, 22, who had a hard time breathing, was brought out on a stretcher to the nearby hospital for precautionary measure.
"Sumasagot naman siya nung tinatanong ko, but he's having a hard time breathing," said Tapdasan. "When he began spitting his mouthpiece, I knew it was over,"
Incidentally, all three jduges (Silvestre Abainza, Gil Co, and Carlos Costa) had ithe fight a draw in the unofficialy tally 37-37, 37-37, 37-37.
Salva was deducted a point in the fourth round for accidentally headbutting Taduran in a move obviously meant to stop his opponent's relenteless attack.
Taduran improved his record to 15-2 with 11 KOs in his second attempt at a world crown after losing to undefeated Chayaphon Moonsri of Thailand in their title fight last year for the World Boxing Council (WBC) version of the 105-lb belt.
"Naramdaman ko na lang na nanghina siya (nung third round) kaya pinasok ko na," said the newly crowned champion now based in Valenzuela City.
Taduran admitted getting hurt when he went down in the opening round, but remained unperturbed by by the initial setback.
"Nasaktan din ako pagbagsak ko, pero hindi ko inisip na hanggang doon na lang yata," he said.
Taduran joined boxing legend Manny Pacquiao, Jerwin Ancajas, and Nonito Donaire Jr. as among the current Filipino world title holder today.
Salva, 22, suffered his first career loss as a pro for a 17-1 record (10 KOs) despite having Ancajas and champion trainer Joven Jimenez in his corner.
The fight card which was free to the public, was made possible by Manny Pacquiao Promotions.