Victorio Saludar puts his WBA minimum title on the line against Erick Rosa in Santo Domingo on Tuesday.
The experienced 21-4 Filipino fighter rebounded after losing to Wilfredo Mendez with consecutive wins, so he’s back to his best.
Rosa is unbeaten after four fights, but the 21-year-old faces the toughest test of his fledgling career.
Boxing betting markets have the current champion as favorite and Saludar is expected to come out ahead.
Interim Champ Faces Biggest Test
Erick Rosa was the interim champion of the minimum title, but it’s a title he might not have for much longer.
Facing rightful champion Saludar is by far his toughest test, but he looked good in beating Ricardo Astuvilca earlier this year, which should be a good form guide.
Astuvilca was 21-0 at the time of his unanimous decision defeat to Rosa, so the challenger should be confident against Saludar.
The Dominican Republic-born fighter gets to fight in his home city, which could have a huge impact on the fight.
“Winning the title will be my Christmas gift to my country and my fans,” Rosa told FightNews.com.
It’s not common for a challenger to get a hometown title fight, but credit goes to Saludar for accepting the challenge on enemy territory.
There were plenty of hurdles to overcome with purse settlements taking place, but Rosa will be keen to show his skills in the ring.
He is 4-0 and he scored a knockout win over Kenny Cano in March. Having power is needed against Saludar, who has the experience and class advantage.
If Rosa is going to cause an upset with the sportsbook, he will need to fight smart and not go head-hunting in the early stages.
He showed good maturity when beating Astuvilca, so similar tactics could see him produce another upset.
Saludar Aware of Challenge
It hasn’t been an easy road to the minimum title for Victorio Saludar, who has overcome four losses throughout his career.
The Filipino 31-year-old looked to have a bright future when beating Japanese stars Masataka Taniguchi and Ryuya Yamanaka in consecutive fights in 2018 and 2019.
However, he would lose his title to Wilfredo Mendez in 2019 before regaining the title when beating Mike Kinaadman later that year.
Saludar should have respect in betting online markets after beating the previous unbeatendefeated Robert Paradero by split decision. Taking on 18-0 fighters isn’t easy, so credit goes to the champion.
He’s aware of the challenge the unbeaten Rosa presents.
“I will do my best especially because we will fight in his country,” Saludar said. “I can’t promise to win by knockout, but I will do everything I can to defend the belt.”
With three three-star fights on his record, the advantage goes with Saludar. He has fought the much harder opponents and when you’re called “Mini Pacman” you better produce the goods.
He might not be on the same level as Manny Pacquiao, but they don’t give nicknames like that in the Philippines if it’s not warranted.
Fighting in the home city of your opponent is never easy, but it could make the win even sweeter. Saludar should be confident of winning and defending his title.