Milan Melindo loses OPBF silver featherweight belt to Korean boxer Jong Seon Kang
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Milan “El Metodico” Melindo’s reign as the Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) silver featherweight champion officially ended on Saturday, July 1, 2023, after he lost to Jong Seon Kang during their fight in Gwangju City, South Korea.
Kang was proclaimed winner via unanimous decision after 10 rounds of back-and-forth battle that left both boxers bloodied.
Two judges scored the bout 96-94, while one judge saw it 97-93, all in favor of Kang.
Melindo now has five losses with 39 wins and 14 knockouts, while the younger Korean prospect improved to a 16-1-2 (win-loss-draw) with nine knockouts.
During the bout, Melindo started out strong in the early rounds. He banked on his counter punches and one-two combo of jab and straights as he tried to break Kang’s reach and height advantage.
Melindo’s power punches caused Kang’s nose and lips to bleed.
Everything went well for Melindo in the first three rounds, but Kang became more aggressive in the ensuing rounds after finding his rhythm.
Kang started to land his punches, especially his jabs that kept Melindo away from striking range.
Melindo managed to unleash counter punches to retaliate every combination Kang threw at him.
It was until in the fifth round when Melindo suffered a cut just below his right eye.
The cut was too deep, it bled profusely that Melindo had to be checked by the ring physician twice.
Meanwhile, Kang upped his tempo, throwing more of his solid jabs that landed cleanly on its targets.
Kang was at his best in the eighth round when he cornered Melindo who was soaking from his own blood against the ropes and unleashed combinations.
Not to be outfought, Melindo engaged Kang in a fierce toe-to-toe battle that electrified the small crowd in the venue.
After the dust has settled, Kang emerged victorious, while Melindo’s camp was left confused and disappointed as the results were announced in Korean.
While Melindo accepted his defeat, he cried foul on Kang’s alleged dirty tactics that resulted to his deep cut.
“Napildi ta karon. Thank you sa experience. This is a big break, I need more hard fights. Sa akong tan-aw daog ta. Lamang ta sa rounds 1 to 6. Ato-a pag seven. Nangita sila ug paagi, mao hinungdan na cut. It was an illegal punch pero ang referee wala nakakita,” said Melindo who was the former IBF and IBO world light flyweight champion.
“Kung gusto mo modaog ug limpyo, limpyo sad inyong duwa. But it’s okay, no need to reason out, mas maningkamot ta sa sunod, kay naa man sad ta kulang,” he added.
Prime Stags Sports Vice President Pocholo Padilla also aired the same sentiments as Melindo.
“Ana man gyud na. Wala man ta sa atong teritoryo. Para namo and the eyes of the Filipinos, nidaog si Milan sa rounds one to six. Pag round seven nasamdan, naglisud na ug recover si Milan, for me it was an illegal punch. Ang thumb naka igo, which is hait kaayo. We win some, we lose some, padayon lang gihapon ta,” said Padilla.
On the other hand, Kang continued to break the hearts of Filipino boxers. Melindo served as the fourth Filipino boxer that Kang defeated. The others were Omega Boxing Gym’s Pete Apolinar, Tomjune Mangubat and John Ray Logatiman.
Ironically, Kang’s lone defeat came from the hands of another Filipino boxer, Lienard Sarcon, last September via unanimous decision.
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