Vic Saludar to make strawweight title defense against Wilfredo Mendez
Vic Saludar will head overseas once again when he defends his WBO strawweight title against mandatory challenger Wilfredo Mendez on August 24. A purse bid was canceled once a deal had been reached between the two camps, represented by PR Best Boxing and Saludar’s team, headed by promoter Kenneth Rontal.
The fight will take place in Mendez’s home turf of San Juan, Puerto Rico, though Saludar’s team wasn’t sure what venue the fight would be held in. Saludar (19-3, 10 knockouts) of Polomolok, Philippines won the title in July of 2018 when he traveled to Japan to outpoint Ryuya Yamanaka, and then retained it in February with another win in Japan against Masataka Taniguchi.
Saludar, 28, is rated no. 3 by The Ring at 105 pounds and will conduct his training camp at home in General Santos City.
Mendez (13-1, 5 KOs) is six years younger, and boasts wins over Axel Vega and Janiel Rivera in his three year career.
“If the fight is not in Puerto Rico no problem but it’s mandatory and Vic is the champion…we have to face it,” said Palacios, who added “I am confident we can pass through this.”
Palacios says his team has reviewed their southpaw opponent and aren’t so much worried about the action in the ring as they are about about getting a fair shake in the scoring.
“We are not worried about the fight. We are more worried about home town decision,” said Palacios.
Rontal says this will be Vic’s biggest challenge so far, due in part to the significant time difference (Philippines is 12 hours ahead of Puerto Rico).
“Our huge concern only is the opponent who likes to hold his opponent and it’s not good for boxing and the fans. Hopefully WBO ref would not allow that to happen it this fight,” said Rontal.
A message to PR Best Boxing’s Peter Rivera and Rontal were not immediately returned.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include Rontal’s quotes.