VIC Saludar came to the lion’s den practically alone and paid dearly for it.
Without his regular trainer in his corner and his manager by his side, Saludar was left on his own and lost against Wilfredo Mendez on Sunday and yielded his World Boxing Organization (WBO) minimumweight title via unanimous decision at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan.
The Filipino scored a knockdown in the third round when he dropped the Puerto Rican with a left hook, but not good enough to convince the three judges who scored the fight in favor of Mendez at 117-110, 116-111, and 115-112.
Saludar’s trainer Jojo Palacios failed to make it to the fight after failing to secure a Puerto Rican visa, while manager Kenneth Rondal also didn’t make it as his father recently underwent brain surgery as per a report by Rappler.
In his absence, Palacios asked friend Bobby Villaber to be at Saludar’s corner.
Palacios also said the Filipino camp had to take the fight since it was a mandatory defense of Saludar’s 105-lb title.
The 28-year-old Polomolok, Cotabato del Sur native dropped to a 19-4 record with 10 KOs. He is scheduled to return from Puerto Rico on Tuesday.
Mendez became the lone Puerto Rican world champion at the moment, whose record now stands at 14-1, with 5 KOs.