Melindo fights biggest fight of his life tonight

By: Glendale G. Rosal December 30,2017 - 10:22 PM

World Boxing Association (WBA) world light flyweight king Ryoichi Taguchi (left) poses with International Boxing Federation (IBF) world light flyweight champion Milan Melindo during their official weigh-in for tonight’s unification bout in Tokyo, Japan.
/CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

It’s judgment day today for reigning International Boxing Federation (IBF) world light flyweight champion Milan “El Metodico” Melindo, who hopes to welcome the New Year with a blazing victory.

Melindo faces one, if not his career’s most important fight when he battles World Boxing Association (WBA) light flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi in a title unification showdown in Tokyo, Japan, tonight.

Both boxers passed the official weigh-in yesterday with the pride of ALA Boxing Gym weighing at 107.5 pounds while his Japanese foe Taguchi tipped the scales at 107.75lbs. The contracted weight for the 12-round duel is 108lbs.

This will be the second time that Melindo will fight in Japan. He fought there last May when he stunned the boxing world this year with a first round knockout of Akira Yaegashi to snatch the latter’s IBF world light flyweight crown.

However, it will be a different battle for Melindo tonight as he faces a taller and more technical opponent. The 30-year-old Taguchi is taller than the 29-year-old Melindo at five foot, six inches, the latter is only 5’2. Taguchi also has a 171-centimeter reach while Melindo has a reach of 166cm.

But being shorter has proven to be not a big problem for Melindo who has beaten taller foes like Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr., Jesus Geles and Carlos Tamara.

Taguchi, on the other hand, has already beaten two Filipino boxers namely, Florante Condes and Ryan Bito in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Taguchi’s only two defeats were inflicted by WBO world super flyweight champion Naoya Inoue and Masayoshi Segawa.

According to one of Melindo’s trainers, Edmund Villamor, Taguchi will surely utilize his height and reach advantage that is why they will be cautious in approaching the Japanese champion.

“He’s going to use his height and reach advantage but if he comes in then that’s the time we will dismantle his defense and counter him,” said Villamor. “But it really depends on how he fights. We are confident that Milan can win this fight because I have never seen him this well prepared. He is in top condition.”

Melindo holds a record of 37 wins, three losses along with 13 knockouts and no draws while Taguchi has a record of 26 wins with 12 knockouts coupled with two defeats and two draws.

“We don’t aim for a knockout win because Taguchi is a very dangerous opponent. Our strategy is to win each round in a dominating way. We have to show the judges that we are winning each round because we are fighting in our opponent’s hometown,” added Villamor.

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TAGS: Biggest, fight, fights, his, life, MELINDO, tonight
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