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Saludar risks OPBF bantam crown


Froilan Saludar takes a step towards a world title shot when he makes the first defense of his Orient-Pacific Boxing Federation bantamweight crown against Keita Kurihara on 26 January in Cebu.

This will be a rematch after Saludar knocked out the Japanese in the very first round last year to bag the OPBF 118-lb title at the Ariake Arena in Tokyo.

Saludar needed just 60 seconds to dispose of Kurihara but believes the rematch is going to be tougher given the lessons the Japanese had learned the last time.

The scheduled 12-rounder will be staged at the NuStar Cebu Convention Center with Omega Sports and Treasure Boxing Promotions taking the lead and JC Mananquil’s SanMan Promotions also lending a big helping hand in the show.

Froilan, nicknamed Sniper, comes from a fighting family. His brother Vic used to be a world champion while Rey was the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games gold medalist.

“After this fight, we will be seeking a world title shot,” Mananquil said.

But Mananquil insists that he is not looking too far ahead since it will be foolish to downplay Kurihara’s chances.

“That’s the plan but we have to deal with Kurihara first,” added Mananquil, whose stable is oozing with world-class talent.

Froilan packs a 34-7-1 record with 24 knockouts while Kurihara holds a 17-8-1 card with 15 knockouts.

But the edge is on the Filipino champion’s side as he has fought some of the world’s best, including Luis Nery of Mexico and McWilliams Arroyo of Puerto Rico.

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