Melindo’s foe replaced, PP34 unfolds Saturday
Just four days before his much-awaited comeback fight, former world title challenger, Milan “El Metodico” Melindo (32-2,12KOs) will be forced to change his fight plan after his opponent, Mexican southpaw Carlos Fontes (23-3, 17KOs) had to be replaced due to medical reasons.
The Melindo-Fontes duel would have been the main event of this Saturday’s Pinoy Pride 34: Back With A Vengeance but due to the unfortunate development, it is now a co-main event fight.
Fontes and his camp submitted a medical certificate to ALA Promotions International to prove that he has dengue fever in Mexico and is unfit to fight Melindo for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) International light-flyweight belt.
ALA Promotions International, however, found a fitting last-minute replacement in Victor Emanuel Olivo of Mexico for their 10-round non-title bout under the 112lbs division.
Olivo is undefeated in nine fights with four knockouts and will be fighting outside of Mexico for the first time. He is set to arrive tomorrow along with his trainer Jose Alfredo Caballero Rivera and other foreign boxers who will wage war against ALA Boxing Gym stalwarts at the Hoops Dome in Lapu-Lapu City.
ALA Promotions Int’l CEO Michael L. Aldeguer said that even though Olivo is a last-minute replacement, Melindo should not be complacent because he is not familiar with the Mexican’s fighting style.
“Any replacement is dangerous,” said Aldeguer. “They don’t have the time to scout him (Olivo) and his opponent has nothing to lose. But these things happen. Pacquiao was a replacement against Ledwoba and Navarette was also a replacement against Boza Edwards. I admire Olivo’s bravery for agreeing to replace Fontes at such short notice.”
Melindo’s trainer Edito Villamor is also concerned about this development.
“For me it’s a fifty-fifty situation. But we don’t have problems when it comes to training and conditioning and Milan can easily adjust,” said Villamor.
Olivo won his most recent bout via TKO against fellow Mexican Daniel Gonzales in Sonora, Mexico last July. He debuted as a professional last 2014. Olivo is an orthodox boxer standing at 5´4´´ with a 44 knockout percentage.
Meanwhile, “King” Arthur Villanueva (27-1, 14KOs) who is set to face Mexican Victor “Spock” Mendez (19-2-2, 15KOs) will now headline the card because of Fontes’ withdrawal.
Also in the fight card are Kevin Jake Cataraja (1-0, 1KO) vs. Faris Nenggo of Indonesia; AJ Banal against Tanzania’s Emilio Norfat; Rocky Fuentes vs. Afrizal Tamboresi of Indonesia; Melvin Jerusalem vs. Crison Omayao; Cris Ganoza vs. Fabio Marfa and Christian Bacolod vs. Allan Garing.
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