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Cuarto Outpoints Taduran, Captures IBF World Championship

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Rene Mark Cuarto snatched the International Boxing Federation (IBF) world minimumweight title from fellow Filipino Pedro Taduran with a close unanimous decision win on Saturday at the Bula Gym in General Santos City.

Match judges Roel Densing, Brembot Dulalas and Sabas Ponpon Jr. all scored it at 115-113 in favor of the Zamboanga del Norte-native Cuarto to capture the world title on his first attempt.

The erstwhile titleholder Taduran was active early in the bout with his long uppercuts from the outside. Cuarto, on the other hand, is responding with a stick-and-move tactic on his opponent.

Taduran continued to push the pace of the fight to Cuarto before being shocked by a left hook by the latter to start the fifth round. Cuarto regained his distance fighting forcing Taduran to chase.

In the second half of the match, Cuarto landed shots on Taduran before returning to lateral movement. Taduran showed some life in the seventh and eighth rounds with solid hits on Cuarto.

In the last three rounds, Taduran continued to be aggressive but Cuarto remained stationary. Time was called late in round eleven after both boxers tumbled to the canvas.

Cuarto survived a knockdown in the 12th round after slipping to the canvas. Taduran attempted to take advantage with volume punches but was warned by the referee. Cuarto connected with a right hand before running away from Taduran until the final bell.

“Matibay din si Pedro. Sure talaga ako, pinag-aralan namin ang style niya. Matagal namin pinaghirapan ito,” said Cuarto. “Ensayado ako, nangibabaw ‘yung tapang at lakas ng loob ko para mapanalunan ko ito.”

With the victory, the 24-year-old Cuarto improved his record to 19-2-2, including 11 stoppage wins, while the 24-year-old Taduran saw his record dropped to 14-3-1 with 11 KO victories.

The world title clash, which was staged by the MP Promotions of boxing icon and senator Manny Pacquiao, was the fifth all-Filipino world title clash and second in the past two weeks.