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Melindo flies to South Korea for July 1 title defense against Korean boxer

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | June 29,2023 - 03:59 PM

Melindo flies to South Korea for July 1 title defense against Korean boxer. Milan Melindo (middle) poses with Prime Stag Sports officials before flying to South Korea for his first title defense. | Photo from Prime Stag Sports.

Milan Melindo (middle) is set to leave for South Korea for his July 1 title fight there.| Photo from Prime Stag Sports.

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The reigning Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) silver featherweight champion Milan “El Metodico” Melindo flies to South Korea with his team for his July 1, 2023 title defense against Korean Jong Seon Kang. 

Melindo along with his trainer and promoter from the Prime Stag Sports flew to Gwangju City, South Korea, on Thursday, June 29, 2023, after a three-month preparation in Cebu. 

READ: Melindo ready for July 1 OPBF title defense against Korean boxer in South Korea  

Former IBF, IBO champ

The 35-year-old Melindo, the former International Boxing Federation (IBF) and International Boxing Organization (IBO) world light flyweight champion, fights in South Korea for the first time in his career. 

It can be recalled that Melindo is not new to fighting abroad. In fact, he won the IBF world title in Japan after shocking Akira Yaegashi with a first-round technical knockout in 2017 during his tenure with the ALA Boxing Gym. 

He went on to unify the IBF and IBO world titles by defeating the then-champion Hekkie Budler of South Africa in the same year in Cebu. 

READ: Donaire, Santiago dispute WBC bantam crown July 15

Downfall of Melindo

However, Melindo’s downfall also happened abroad. He lost the world titles in Japan in the same year that he won them in the hands of Ryoichi Taguchi in his attempt to unify three world titles, including the WBA super world light flyweight title. He lost to Taguchi via unanimous decision. 

In the next two years, Melindo fought twice in Japan where he also lost both to Kenshiro Teraji for the WBC World light flyweight title and to Junto Nakatani in a non-title bout. 

It forced Melindo to take a two-year break and return to the ring in 2022, where he beat fellow Filipino Crison Omayao in Zamboanga. 

READ: Suganob now in South Africa after 22-hour trip to face IBF champ Nontshinga

Prime Stag Sports

He then inked a promotional contract with the Talisay City-based Prime Stag Sports and fought last January against Chaiwat Buatkrathok of Thailand for the OPBF title which he won by unanimous decision at the Cebu City Sports Center. 

It improved Melindo’s record to 39 wins with 14 knockouts and five defeats. 

However, Melindo’s first title defense won’t be a walk in the park as he faces one of Korea’s fastest-rising boxers in Kang.

The 21-year-old Kang has a record of 16-1-2 (win-loss-draw) with nine knockouts. Kang is known to defeat several Filipino prospects, including Pete Apolinar, Lienard Sarcon, John Ray Logatiman, and Tomjune Mangubat. 

READ: Jade Bornea loses to Fernando Martinez in world title fight

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TAGS: boxing, MELINDO, Milan “El Metodico” Melindo, OPBF

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