RENE Mark Cuarto banked on his counter-punching prowess to wrest the International Boxing Federation minimumweight crown from Pedro Taduran Jr. via a unanimous decision win last Saturday at the Bula Gym in General Santos City, South Cotabato.
Judges Roel Densing, Brembot Dulalas and Sabas Ponpon Jr. had identical scores of 115-113 in favor of Cuarto, 24, who picked up his 19th win, 11 by knockouts, against two losses and one two draws.
Taduran, 24, who vowed to knock out the challenger, absorbed his third loss against 24 wins and one draw in the title match promoted by MP Promotions of Sen. Manny Pacquiao and held under the supervision of the Games and Amusements Board.
“Gihandaan na ko ang style niya,” said the newly-crowned champ, nicknamed the “Mighty Mouse,” in his native dialect of his strategy in foiling his opponent.
“Matibay si Pedro. Sure talaga. Matagal naming pinaghirapan to,” added Cuarto, adding that he got hurt in the seventh by his power-punching rival.
“Solid ‘yung pagkatama niya sa akin sa seventh. Pero ensayado ako, nangibabaw ‘yung tapang at lakas ng loob ko para mapanalunan ko ito,” added the Zamboanga del Norte pride, who had Buboy Neri, one of Pacquiao’s assistant trainers, in his corner.
Despite being the champ, Taduran pursued his foe, aiming to land the big punch that would end the bout.
But Cuarto craftily used his left uppercut to keep the Libon, Albay native at bay while consistently piling up points.