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Saludar loses title bid

Behind on all three scorecards, Japanese champion Kosei Tanaka picked himself up from a fifth-round knockdown to knock out Filipino challenger Vic Saludar in the sixth stanza and retain his World Boxing Organization minimumweight crown late Thursday in Nagoya. A vicious left to the ribcage sent Saludar down and writhing in pain, leaving referee Mike Ortega of the US with no other choice but to put a halt to the scheduled 12-rounder upon reaching the ten-count at the 2:15 mark. Saludar, 25, floored Tanaka, 20, with a right straight in the fifth frame and appeared ready to take full control. At the time of the stoppage, Saludar was ahead on the scores of the three judges: 50-44 and 49-45 (twice). But Tanaka, who raised his record to 6-0 with three KOs, gamely fought back …

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Pacquiao faces tougher Bradley in rubber match

If Manny Pacquiao struggled to score an emphatic win over Tim Bradley the first two times they fought, the Filipino star may likely find it even more difficult in their rubber match on April 9. Since losing the rematch in 2014, Bradley has made a dramatic transformation from a light hitter to a heavy-handed puncher. Top Rank chief Bob Arum, with one eye on the gate receipts, tries to put Bradley in a different light, a boxer who is very much improved from the guy Pacquiao fought years back. “He’s a lot better now,” said Arum, who is staging the world welterweight title fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Arum was among those stunned by Bradley’s one-punch knockout of Brandon Rios, the wild-swinging and iron-chinned Mexican-American whom Pacquiao had trouble putting away …

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