Melindo returns, headlines Sinulog fight card of Prime Stags Sports
Former world champ starts long climb to boxing pinnacle at 34
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Former International Boxing Federation (IBF) and International Boxing Organization (IBO) world light flyweight champion Milan “El Metodico” Melindo will fight in Cebu five years after his last bout here.
The 34-year-old Melindo, a native of Cagayan de Oro City is scheduled to fight in the main event of Prime Stags Sport’s card on January 11, 2023, at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).
The major fight card will serve as one of the sporting events lined up for the Sinulog month.
Melindo, a former ALA Boxing Gym stalwart was recently added to the growing roster of the Talisay-City-based Prime Stags Sports.
He is joined by newly-crowned World Boxing Foundation (WBF) Australasian flyweight champion Kit Garces of Cebu.
In a press conference earlier on Wednesday at the Cebu City Vice Mayor’s office, Melindo said that he still has what it takes to become a world champion again.
This time, he paired up with a champion coach, Fernando Ocon who trained former WBO world bantamweight champion Marlon Tapales.
“Dako kaayo ko ug pasalamat nga makadula ko ug balik diri sa Cebu. Last fight nako diri pag 2017 pa, unya ang pinaka last fight nako karon nga year pag April pa sa Zamboanga. Nangita jud ko ug good promoter ug manager, ug pasalamat ko nakakita ko sa Prime Stags Sports nga andam kaayo mo suporta nako,” said Melindo who holds a record of 38 wins with 14 knockouts, and five defeats.
The last time Cebuano boxing fans saw Melindo fight in Cebu City was in 2017 when he unified the IBF and IBO world flyweight titles by beating South African Hekkie Budler via a split decision at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.
Melindo at that time was one of ALA Boxing Gym’s top boxers.
After that, Melindo fought three times in Japan, from 2018 to 2019, where he lost all bouts and has never been seen inside the ring until last April when he beat Crison Omayao via referee stoppage in Zamboanga.
“Nindot ilahang vision bitaw, mao na ang pinaka importante nako, mao nang nisugot ko nga ilaha kong kuhaon nga ilahang boxer. Nagkasinabot mi pag abot nako diri, unya mahibaw-an naman nimo daan sa ilaha lang daan aura, nindot kaayo, so dako ko ug paglaom nga mo bloom ug balik akong career,” added Melindo.
Melindo is expected to fight in the 126lbs division in January, but he vowed to return to the light flyweight division with the hopes of fighting for a world title again.
“Ganahan sad kaayo ko modula ug balik diri sa Cebu kay ganahan ko makita sa mga aspiring boxers nga pwede nila ma evolve ang boxing, dili lang bara-bara, pero mas nindot nga technique ug inutok nga dula, mao na akong ipakita nila,” Melindo vowed.
For his part, Prime Stags Sports vice president, Pocholo Padilla, said they are eyeing bigger fights for Melindo in the future and also they are aiming to revive Cebu’s boxing glory.
“We may not be as successful and as big as ALA Promotions, but we have ambitions and plans to bring back Cebu as the best place for boxing. That’s why we formed the Philippine Boxing Alliance which is a group of small-time boxing promoters aiming to unite and provide everyone an equal chance to promote their boxers in a top-caliber promotion hosted by us at Prime Stags Sports,” said Padilla.
During the presser, he was joined by Prime Stags Sports’ board members Victor Cogal, Jeus Dacua, and Ramil Ayuman along with ABAP regional director Lorenzo “Chao” Sy.
Also present was Garces who will be featured in the co-main event on January 11.
Cebu City’s acting mayor, Raymond Alvin Garcia was also present during the presser.
“Hinaot pa unta many more boxing matches will be held in Cebu City because we are willing to support 110%. We have the facilities, the hotels, the transportation, restaurants, naa na tanan sa Cebu City, so we’re inviting boxing promoters to have their events here in Cebu para mabalik sad ang dungog sa atong syudad nga sikat sauna sa boxing,” said Garcia.
The fight card hopes to feature 12 pro bouts and 10 amateur bouts.
Padilla also revealed that they’re planning to add a couple of bouts between popular YouTubers and social media personalities.
He added that the complete fight card featuring Melindo and Garces’ opponents will be announced soon. /rcg
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