Melindo goes for world title tonight
Expect a more focused Milan “El Metodico” Melindo tonight when he takes on Thai Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr. for the IBF world interim junior flyweight title in the main event of Pinoy Pride 39: Road to Redemption at the Cebu Coliseum.
Melindo, who has a record of 34-2-0 (win-loss-draw) with 12KOs, is looking to finally win a world title on his third try.
In his first crack at a world title in 2013, Melindo lost by unanimous decision to Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico in Macau. He faltered on his second try when he lost by a controversial sixth-round technical decision against Javier Mendoza in their IBF title match in May 30, 2015 in Mexico.
Melindo last fought in May in the Pinoy Pride 36, beating late replacement Maximino “Max” Flores by technical decision in a fight wherein he missed weight by nearly five pounds. He was supposed to fight Mendoza for another chance at a world title but the latter suffered a back injury.
Now that he’s given another chance, the 28-year-old Cagayan de Oro native Melindo said he’ll do his best to finally capture a title that will surely be a huge help for his career.
“I was very frustrated and out of focus last May in Bacolod when I was not able to make the weight because the world title fight was cancelled at that time,” said Melindo. “I asked for this fight to happen and now it’s here, there’s no reasons for me to lose again, I will make sure that I will climb down that ring with the belt on my waist.”
Melindo made weigh this time at 108 pounds while Sakkreerin (31-4-1,16KOs ) tipped the scales at 107.5 pounds. The official weigh in was held yesterday at the packed Robinsons Fuente.
Michael Aldeguer, CEO of ALA Promotions International, believes that Melindo will live up to his promises and walk away with the world title tonight.
“He got his wish to fight in front of Filipino boxing fans in his hometown here in Cebu so there’s no reason he won’t win. All he has got to do is fight his best,” Aldeguer said.
The winner of the Melindo-Sakkreerin duel will earn a mandatory shot at reigning champion Akira Yaegashi, who could not defend his belt for the time being due to an injury.
Meanwhile, Aldeguer will look into the progress of the comebacking “Prince” Albert Pagara (26-1-0,18KOs), who will fight Ghana’s Raymond Commey (16-1-0,9KOs).
He wants to see if Pagara has fully recovered from his loss to Mexican Cesar Juarez last July in the U.S.
“This fight will show how he’s recovered from that loss. We’ve seen boxers like Manny Pacquiao who became better after getting knocked out but not everyone is like Pacquiao. We don’t know what’s going through Albert’s head so let’s wait and see,” said Aldeguer.
In another featured bout, Albert’s older brother, WBO No.1 junior welterweight contender Jason ‘El Niño’ Pagara (39-2-0, 24KOs), faces a daunting challenge as he battles former world champion Jose Alfaro (28-10-0, 24KOs) of Nicaragua.
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