Erick Rosa gets off the canvas, outpoints Vic Saludar in Dominican Republic
Both Erick Rosa and Vic Saludar had to get off the canvas Tuesday, but it was Rosa who emerged victorious by split decision in their 12-round strawweight bout at the Hotel Catalonia Malecon Center in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
Two judges scored the bout for Rosa (5-0, 1 knockout) by the scores of 116-109 and 113-112, while the third had it 113-112 for the visiting Filipino Saludar (21-5, 11 KOs).
Rosa, a mobile southpaw who relies more on potshotting and getting out of range, fought more like a “regular sized Ivan Calderon” than a “Mini PacMan,” like his nickname would suggest. Rosa, 21, made the first impression of the fight, dropping Saludar with a quick left hand in round 3.
Saludar, 31, of Polomolok, Philippines remained dangerous throughout, using his height advantage to pressure Rosa and make him uncomfortable. It wasn’t until the championship rounds that Saludar, a former WBO strawweight titleholder, began to have the effect that he had hoped for all along. Saludar drove Rosa back to the ropes with an overhand right with a minute left in the round, and then scored a knockdown of his own with a straight right.
Rosa continued to box and look to land with individual pot shots, but Saludar kept closing the gap and landing big power shots on his smaller opponent, closing the fight the stronger of the two.
The win was the biggest yet for Rosa, who was unrated by The Ring prior to the fight, while Saludar, who entered the bout rated no. 5 by The Ring at 105 pounds, loses for the first time since his 2019 defeat at the hands of Wilfredo Mendez.
With the win, Rosa also picks up the WBA “regular” strawweight belt, a secondary title to the recognized WBA 105-pound belt held by Thammanoon Niyomtrong of Thailand.
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