Milan guns for IBF crown tonight
Will it be third time lucky for Milan “El Metodico” Melindo?
The technical Filipino fighter and ALA Boxing Gym star hopes to finally snag that elusive world crown when he battles reigning IBF world light flyweight champion Akira Yaegashi tonight at the Ariake Coliseum in Tokyo, Japan.
Melindo (35-2-0, 12KOs) and Yaegashi (25-5-0, 13KOs) easily got the contracted weight for their 108lbs world title bout after both tipped the weighing scales at 107.9lbs or 48.8-kilograms.
According to Melindo’s trainer, Edito Villamor, they were confident that Melindo will easily get the weight limit despite being 3lbs overweight before they flew to Tokyo from Cebu last Monday.
“We were not worried about weight issues because we made sure we covered everything before we got here in Tokyo. He easily got the weight. He perfectly reduced his weight without sacrificing his power and speed,” said Villamor.
Villamor said he instructed Melindo to try to dominate each round in order to convince the judges to favor them especially since they are fighting in enemy territory.
Melindo’s technical style will be tested against Yaegashi’s rugged, leave-no-prisoner style of boxing. Melindo, 28, of Cagayan de Oro City has trained exyensively for this fight which is his third world title challenge.
His first shot at a world crown in 2013 ended in a unanimous decision loss to Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada for the WBO and WBA world flyweight titles in Macau, China.
He got another world title challenge in 2015 against another Mexican Javier Mendoza for the latter’s IBF world light flyweight belt in Baja California, Mexico which ended in a technical decision.
The bout was stopped in the 6th round due to a large cut on Mendoza’s left eyelid. All three judges however, favored Mendoza allowing the Mexican to keep his title.
Meanwhile, tonight’s fight is scheduled at 6 p.m. but will have a delayed telecast over ABS-CBN Sports and Action at 8 p.m.
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