By Chito Y. Katangkatang
September 21 will be a big date on Philippine calendar as top Pinoy prospects battle foreign foes at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City in a triple header entitled Kamao: Kidlat at Maso. The event is being presented by upcoming promoter Anson Tiu Co of Shape Up Boxing in cooperation with Sammy Gelloani and Joven Jimenez. Tiu Co owns Shape Up Boxing Gym at the Cooyeesan Hotel in Baguio City which has gained fame as the regular training venue of Manny Pacquiao.
The main event will be a 12 round war between former Philippine Team Amateur top dog Froilan “The Sniper” Saludar (15-0-1, 11 KOs) versus Mexican Veteran Jose Alfredo Tirado (27-11, 19 KOs).
Tirado’s most notable victories were against Cristian Mijares and then undefeated Jesus Vasquez while Saludar’s first acid test was his recent win against Alejandro Morales. Experience is on the side of Tirado but the Filipino has youth, speed, power and skills as his arsenals. Saludar is a young lad who knows how and when to throw a punch. He is called sniper for a good reason. Saludar has both the knock out power to stop opponents and the skills to dance for twelve rounds and dominate by points. Indeed, Saludar versus Tirado will be an intriguing match-up for the WBO Interim Oriental Flyweight Belt.
Mark Jason Melligen (22-2, 15 KOs) has been on lay off for more than a year after his knockout loss to Sebastian Lujan. The fighter from Bacolod City was missing in action after splitting ways with ALA Promotions. It was promoter Sammy Gello-ani who gave him a second chance at boxing and he is now back on the scene with his recent one round demolition of journeyman Dondon Lapuz last July. Melligen will trade leathers with Sapapetch Sor Sakaorat (28-10, 18 KOs) of Thailand. A big win by Melligen will catapult his career to bigger fights in the future.
Another upcoming prospect is Jerwin “Pretty Boy” Ancajas (14-1, 6 KOs) who will engage in a ten round action against Mexican Miguel Tamayo who also holds an impressive record of (12-3-2, 11 KOs). Ancajas’ only loss was a majority decision against fellow Pinoy pug Mark Anthony Geraldo. Ancajas has already beaten one foreign opponent in Xiang Jing in a fight held in China. Ancajas is being trained and managed by Joven Jimenez who also handles Saludar.
“Tirado has been saying a lot of things. I will just keep quiet and let my gloves do the talking come September 21. I will make sure he will eat his own words. He wants my world ranking? Then come and get it. I don’t want anything from Tirado except another win in my record. It will not be an easy fight but we I am a Filipino. And yes he is a Mexican. We were born to fight each other in the ring”, Saludar told this scribe.
Promoter Anson Tiu Co is organizing this event as a tribute to Shape Up Boxing’s fallen fighter Karlo Maquinto who died inside the ring last year after suffering cerebral hemorrhage. This will be Anson’s promotional debut and he intends to stage bigger fighting events in the future.