Melindo to face Thai opponent in January 2023 fight for OPBF title
CEBU CITY, Philippines— The stakes got higher for the much-awaited Cebu comeback fight of former world champion Milan “El Metidico” Melindo on January 10, 2023 at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).
This was after, the Prime Stags Sports Boxing Promotions announced that Melindo will be fighting for the vacant Oriental Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) silver featherweight title.
He will go up against Thai Chaiwat Buatkrathok for 10 rounds in the main event of the fight card dubbed as the “Prime Fight Series: Prime Fight 2.”
This will be the first time for Melindo to fight in Cebu since 2017 when he was still with the ALA Boxing Gym.
The 34-year-old Melindo, a former International Boxing Federation (IBF) and International Boxing Organization (IBO) world light flyweight champion, holds a record of 38 wins with 14 knockouts, and five losses.
Melindo’s comeback fight won’t be a walk in the park as he faces a fellow veteran in Buatkrathok.
The 30-year-old Buatkrathok, the reigning WBC Asian Boxing Council Continental featherweight champion, sports a record of 38-7 (win-loss) card with 25 knockouts.
The last time Melindo stepped in the ring was in April this year. He fought and beat Crison Omayao in a fight card held in Zamboanga City. It was Melindo’s first fight since October 2019.
On the other hand, Buatkrathok last fought in October against Kazuki Nakajima at the Korakuen Hall in Japan. Buatkrathok lost via technical knockout.
Buatkrathok isn’t new in the local boxing scene after having fought former interim world champion Reymart Gaballo in 2019. Gaballo knocked out Buatkrathok in the sixth round of their bout held in Parañaque City.
Meanwhile, the reigning World Boxing Foundation (WBF) Australasian flyweight champion Kit Garces will fight fellow Filipino Noli James Maquilan in the co-main event.
The Cebuano Garces who is unbeaten in five fights with four knockouts will fight Maquilan in a non-title bout for eight rounds. Maquilan from Compostela Valley sports a 4-1 (win-loss) record with three knockouts.
In addition, there are eight undercard bouts featured in the fight card which is in-line for the Sinulog Festival.
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