Photos: Marcos Mejias Ortiz/PRBBP
Wilfredo “Bimbito” Méndez (14-1, 5 KOs) became the new WBO minimumweight champion and ended Puerto Rico’s world title drought beating reigning titleholder Vic Saludar (19-4, 10 KOs) of the Philippines via unanimous decision on Saturday night at the Puerto Rico Convention Center in San Juan, PR.
Mendez outboxed and frustrated the aggressive Saludar, who was making his second title defense. Saludar’s best moment came in round five when he knocked down Mendez with a left hook, but after twelve rounds, the judges had Mendez comfortably ahead 117-110, 116-111 and 115-112.
Méndez (14-1, 5 KOs) becomes the third Puerto Rican to be crowned world champion at 105 pounds joining Alex “El Nene” Sánchez and Iván “Iron Boy” Calderón.
“This is a dream come true. After all this, we worked and now I am a world champion, the only one that Puerto Rico has right now,” said the 22-year-old Méndez after his victory. “We followed the fight plan we worked on all the time and we were able to take the victory against a good opponent like Saludar.”
In other results, WBO #6 super lightweight Jean Carlos “Lobo” Torres (17-0, 12 KOs) scored his sixth straight win by KO by finishing off Mexican Miguel Zamudio (43-14-1, 27 kos) in the third round. Torres sent Zamudio to the canvas once in the first round, another in the second and another in the third before the end by TKO at 2:52.
Meanwhile, Nestor Bravo (17-0, 12 kos) defeated Argentina’s Cristian Miño (19-4, 17 kos) by KO at 1:59 of the second round when he knocked him down for the final count. In addition, Luis Midyael Sánchez (8-0, 7 kos) beat Carlos García (15-21-1, 12 kos) by unanimous decision when the judges voted 59-54, 57-56 and 57-56; Pedro Márquez (11-1, 7 kos) defeated Mexican Angel Monrreal (12-12-2, 4 kos) by TKO at: 55 of the second round after sending him to the canvas and the referee stopped the fight.
Also, Angel Aponte (5-0, 2 kos) won by TKO in the second round against Luis Enrique Rivera (2-7, 2 kos) after knocking him down twice in the first round and the fight ended at: 01 of round two; Frebyan González (1-0, 1 kos) won by KO over Merchisede Rivera (0-4) after sending him to the canvas twice, finishing the action at 1:02 of the first round.