Pedro Taduran, 22, is the eighth of nine children and the youngest son of Pedro Sr., a farmer, a caretaker of animals and an “itak” maker, and Belencita, a barangay police officer in Libon, Albay.
Pedro Taduran dedicates title to late sister
Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) - September 12, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Pedro Taduran dedicated his victory for the vacant IBF minimumweight title in Fort Bonifacio last weekend to his late sister Jenny who passed away from a mysterious illness two months ago.

Taduran, 22, is the eighth of nine children and the youngest son of Pedro Sr., a farmer, a caretaker of animals and an “itak” maker, and Belencita, a barangay police officer in Libon, Albay. Jenny had some kind of infection that doctors couldn’t treat in Albay so she sought medical assistance in Batangas. She died with the family not knowing what her sickness was. Jenny, 34, left behind a husband and three young kids.

“Para kay Jenny ang panalo ko,” said Taduran, a high school graduate who never went to college. “Maliliit pa ang mga anak niya. May trabaho naman ang kaniyang asawa kanya kung ano man ang maitutulong ko, pandagdag lang.”

Taduran comes from a close-knit family. His brother Joseph, a former amateur fighter, taught him how to box. Two other brothers Jorge and Joel turned pro. Jorge, 27, had a 0-4 record, quit the ring and now works as a trainer in a gym. Joel, 25, is a struggling pro with an 8-11-2 record, including 2 KOs. What his brothers failed to achieve, Taduran has more than made up for.

It wasn’t an easy ride to the throne. In August last year, Taduran lost a unanimous 12-round decision in a bid to dethrone WBC 105-pound titlist Wanheng Menayothin in Nakhon Sawan, Thailand. That was his first attempt to capture a world crown. And last weekend, he went up against unbeaten countryman Samuel Salva for the IBF title vacated by South African DeeJay Kriel who moved up to the lightflyweight division. Taduran wasn’t favored to win and in the first round, Salva proved the oddsmakers right by scoring a knockdown.

Taduran got up immediately and took the mandatory eight-count from referee Danrex Tapdasan. “Nagulat ako,” he said. “Mabilis si Salva at na-off balance ako. Hindi ko naman ininda, hindi ako na-groggy. Kaya ko ang suntok niya. Dapat lang magingat kasi malakas din si Salva.”

In the second round, Taduran stepped it up and began bombarding Salva’s body. “’Yan ang sabi sa akin ni coach Tacy (Macalos),” said Taduran, referring to the former IBF lightflyweight champion who worked his corner. “Bodega muna ang tamaan, tapos ulo. Tinyaga ko. Dinamihan ko ang suntok. Napansin ko bigla siyang napagod at parang hindi niya kaya ang suntok ko. Hindi ko inasahan ang knockout. Alam ko, darating din ‘yan kung may pagkakataon. Basta tama ang insayo, walang makakapigil sa ‘yo.”

Salva lost steam quickly and by the end of the fourth round, he looked out of it. When the bell rang to start round five, Salva was still on his stool and spat out his mouthpiece. That signaled the end. Salva was brought out of the ring on a stretcher for precautionary measures and brought to the hospital for a CT-Scan which later showed no damage to the brain.

The win raised Taduran’s record to 14-2, with 11 KOs. IBF president Daryl Peoples and chairman of the ratings committee Anibal Miramontes were at ringside to witness the proceedings. They had to be impressed with Taduran’s showing. Taduran’s purse was $10,000, his biggest paycheck. For the Wanheng bout, he was paid $8,000.

Last Monday, Taduran paid a courtesy call on Sen. Manny Pacquiao at his Senate office to thank him for the chance to win a world crown. Pacquiao is at the top of Taduran’s list of ring idols. The others in the list are IBF superflyweight champion Jerwin Ancajas, Donnie Nietes and Michael Dasmarinas. While at the Senate, Sen. Bong Go found out Taduran was in the building and sent him a pair of brand new sneakers.

Taduran joins a select cast of reigning Filipino world champions. Pacquiao rules as the WBA welterweight titleholder. Nonito Donaire is the super WBA bantamweight king while Ancajas holds the IBF 115-pound belt.

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