Rene Mark Cuarto and Pedro Taduran are ready to run it back. has confirmed that the all-Filipino IBF strawweight title fight rematch has been approved to take place January 29 in Digos Davao del Sur, Philippines. The bout comes eleven months after their thriller which saw Cuarto end Taduran’s 17-month title reign in claiming a twelve-round, unanimous decision last February 27 in General Santos City.

Neither boxer has since fought, as MP Promotions sought permission to stage a second fight to begin the new year. The request was soon followed by good news.

“The IBF has granted formal sanction approval for the IBF [strawweight] mandatory defense between Champion Rene Cuarto and Pedro Taduran,” Carlos Ortiz Jr., chairman of the Championship Committee noted in an official letter addressing the matter, a copy of which has been obtained by

Cuarto (19-2-2, 11KOs) rose to the occasion in his first career title fight, building up a large enough lead to fend off a late surge by Taduran. It was enough for the 25-year-old from Ponot, Philippines to win unanimously on the matching scorecards of judges Roel Densing (115-113), Brembot Dulalas (115-113) and Sabas Ponpon Jr. (115-113) to earn the IBF strawweight belt.

Taduran (14-3-1, 11KOs) was attempting the second defense of the IBF belt he nabbed in a fourth-round knockout of unbeaten countryman Samuel Salva (18-1, 11KOs) in their September 2019 vacant title fight.

The lone other title fight for Taduran, a 25-year-old from Manila, resulted in a four-round technical draw with Monterrey, Mexico’s Daniel Valladares. The February 2020 title fight in Guadalupe, Mexico opened with Valladares suffering a cut due to a clash of heads. The fight intensified, only for the cut to worsen to the point of the ringside doctor advising referee Wes Melton to end the fight after the fourth round.

Taduran’s eventual title win came one year after coming up short in a title bid versus then-unbeaten WBC strawweight king Wanheng ‘TBE’ Menayothin in August 2018 on the road in Nakhon Sawan, Thailand.

Jake Donovan is a senior writer for Twitter: @JakeNDaBox