Filipino boxer "Vicious" Vic Saludar is the new World Boxing Organization minimumweight king after he outpointed erstwhile champion Ryuya Yamanaka in Kobe, Japan on Friday night.
The 27-year-old weathered a strong showing by Yamanaka in the early rounds, tagging the Filipino with a huge left hand to the head and several strong shots to the body, according to a fight report on BoxingScene.com.
But the former national team member turned the tide in the second half of the bout.
In the seventh, Saludar, who came in as the WBO’s No. 3 contender, unloaded a 1-2 combo that dropped Yamanaka.
The knockdown proved crucial and it swayed the judges to reward Saludar a unanimous decision.
The judges scored the fight, 116-111, 117-110 and 115-112.
It was Saludar’s second attempt at a world title, according to Philboxing.com.
In 2015, he challenged Kosei Tanaka for the WBO minimumweight championship. Despite leading the scoresheets, he was stopped with a brutal body shot in the sixth round.
Saludar now has a record of 18 wins and 3 losses. Yamanaka dropped to 16-3.
The Cagayan de Oro native won a bronze medal as a light flyweight in the 2010 Asian Games.
This story was originally published on the ABS-CBN Sports website.