Milan Melindo to use ‘mind games’ against Thai foe
CEBU CITY, Philippines—Former world champion Milan “El Metodico” Melindo is ready to trade blows with Thai heavy hitter Chaiwat Buatkrathok in their upcoming main event duel in the “Prime Fight Series 2” on January 11, 2023, at the Cebu City Sports Center field.
The 34-year-old Milendo, the former International Boxing Federation (IBF) and International Boxing Organization (IBO) world light flyweight champion, vows not just to entertain the Cebuano boxing fans but also teach them how a “methodical” boxer like him will dismantle his opponent in the ring.
In a press conference on Monday, January 2, 2023, Melindo said he is ready to take on an opponent who has been very active even at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Melindo stated that he loves the challenge as he vows to display his prowess in technical boxing.
“This is the biggest fight para nako karon, kay methodical boxer versus knockout puncher. Utok gyud atong gamit ani, we will use the mind more. It’s more on the mind games,” said Melindo during the presser at the Cafe Point at the North Reclamation Area in Cebu City.
Melindo and Buatkrathok will fight for the vacant Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) silver featherweight title.
“Mao ni nakanindot ani kay challenging para nako, top-caliber nga kontra bisan dili siya world champion. Based sa iyang previous fights, nindot iyang kontra,” he added
This will be Melindo’s first featherweight bout, following his comeback last year where he fought in a 130-pound bout in Mindanao.
‘We have to take a risk’
Melindo has a game plan set for his opponent.
“I want the crowd to learn the science behind boxing. Ganahan ko ma frustrate ang kontra, mo undang ang kontra, mao na akong gusto makat-on sa crowd nga dili ni pareho sa sabong nga pinatyanay. Kay kita we need to be wise,” Melindo said.
For his part, Prime Stags Sports’ Pocholo Padilla, Melindo’s promoter, said they are making the most of the latter’s remaining years in boxing. That is the reason they are pursuing the OPBF title against a tough opponent for a quicker way to get into the world rankings.
“We need the fastest route for Milan to become a world champion again. Gusto sad niya makabawi against (Juan Francisco) Estrada, who is the world champion in WBC’s super flyweight division. Ang resume ni Milan is above average, mao nisugot mi sa offer sa OPBF nga tagaan ta nila ug tough opponent. Is it a risk? Yes, we have to take a risk because Milan isn’t getting younger,” said Padilla.
The Cagayan de Oro native Melindo, a former ALA Boxing Gym stalwart, has a record of 38 wins (14 by knockouts) and five defeats. The last time he fought in Cebu was in 2017 against Hekkie Budler, where he snatched the IBO world light flyweight title by split decision at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.
Meanwhile, the 30-year-old Buatkrathok has a 38-7 (win-loss) card. He has 25 knockout wins. He is expected to arrive in Cebu on January 9, along with his promoter and trainer.
Garces vs Maquilan
Meanwhile, Cebuano World Boxing Foundation (WBF) Australasian flyweight champion Kit Ceron Garces vows to knockout Noli James Maquilan in their non-title co-main event bout.
Garces has an unblemished record of 5-0 with four wins via knockouts. Maquilan has a 4-1 record with three knockout victories.
“Malingaw jud ang mga taw, worth it ilang gipalit nga ticket, paningkamotan jud nako ma knockout, pareho sa last fight nako sa Talisay, kutob sa akong makaya. Na tumba nako pero lig-on to nga kontra. Ako gi promise sa teams ug sa fans nga knockout gihapon,” said Garces.
Besides Melindo and Garces’ bouts, eight more pro bouts will be featured in the fight card. At the same time, there will be an amateur fight card, which also features 10 fights that will be held starting at 12 noon.
Padilla expects to draw 5,000 to 6,000 boxing fans at the venue as they offer a very affordable general admission fee of P50. The other ticket prices are pegged at P100, P500, P1,000, and P1,500. Tickets are available at the Prime Fight Gym in Talisay City, Cebu and at the venue.
Melindo returns, headlines Sinulog fight card of Prime Stags Sports
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