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List of Articles by Maloney L. Samaco


 

MELINDO MAKES WEIGHT AFTER FAILING FIRST TRY; FIGHTS FOR GOD AND COUNTRY IN PINOY PRIDE 42

By Maloney L. Samaco
PhilBoxing.com
16 Sep 2017



Milan Melindo finally made the required weight of 108 pounds for his IBF world junior flyweight title defense after failing the first weigh-in at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City. At the initial try at the scales, Melindo tipped in at 1.25 pounds above the limit and was given the time to reduce his weight to the prescribed light flyweight limit.

* * *

Melindo (36-2, 13 KOs) allegedly ran and shed excess weight by sweating. Finally he registered his weight at exactly 108 pounds. He will defend his title belt against South African Hekkie Budler (31-2, 10 KOs) on Saturday. Melindo almost suffered the same fate as that of Marlon Tapales. But "El Metodico" did not frustrate millions of countrymen by making weight on time and hopes to complete his mission of defeating South African challenger Hekkie Budler.

* * *

During his defense of the WBO bantamweight title against Japanese Shohei Omori last April, Tapales failed to make the 118-pound limit during the official weigh-in and as a result was stripped of the title. The fight still went through, but under WBO rules the crown will remain vacant if Tapales wins. A victory by Omori, however, will make him the new bantamweight champion. Tapales won by 11th round TKO but he was already beltless.

* * *

Melindo's team just disregarded the threats made by Budler and his trainer Colin Nathan. “It's just part of the psywar,” said Edito Villamor, Melindo' s trainer, as quoted by ABS-CBN. But Melindo's camp is not underestimating the talents of Budler. “Our opponent is a former WBA super champion and current IBO world junior flyweight champion,” Villamor added. “And he's very popular in South Africa. So we prepared extensively for this fight.

* * *

Budler is so confident that his preparation is more than enough to challenge and wrest the crown from the Filipino champion. Melindo counters that Budler has never seen anyone like him before. “They don’t see my style in Africa or other parts of the world,” says Melindo. “I’m different fighter, I’m a tactical fighter. I know his style is always coming but I know he has another plan but I can handle it because I’m a tactical fighter. And I have guidance from God.”

* * *

But should he comes out successful in his first defense, Melindo's targets are unification fights with the other world champions in his division, namely Kosei Tanaka (WBO), Ryoichi Taguchi (WBA), and Ken Shiro (WBC) all from Japan. "I’m always hungry because I want a unification, I want the other belts. I want to become king in my division,” says Melindo in Rappler.

* * *

“I can’t be like Manny Pacquiao, he is an 8-division champion, I can’t be like Donnie Nietes, longest Filipino world champion, and I can’t be like Nonito Donaire or even Brian Viloria. I want to make a name different from them," declared the champion from Cagayan de Oro. “Because if you want to be a legend, you have to be a different way.”

* * *

Villamor said he expects the South African to come in well-prepared during the fight and with good conditioning. Melindo is also vigorously prepared for his first defense of the title he won by a first-round knockout win over Akira Yaegashi in Japan. "I feel no pressure for this fight." Melindo said. "No matter how many fights he’s had, he’s never fought anyone like me."

* * *

Villamor says that his training squad is working well on Melindo’s timing to let Budler feel the punches thrown at him by the Filipino world champion. "Timing really is the most important thing to make an opponent fall," added Villamor. "I advise him not to put his guard down, because then I might give him the first KO defeat of his career," Melindo's piece of advice for his foe.

* * *

Melindo began fascinated with boxing when his father bought him a pair of boxing gloves when he was 6 years old. Melindo took boxing as a sport when he grew up because he was able to continue his study through a sports scholarship program. When he finished high school, it was the time Melindo decided to take boxing in a full time basis to help his family financially.

* * *

Melindo is the youngest of ten siblings and he said he fought an estimated 600 fights as an amateur. He decided to turn pro in September 2005 and won his first 29 fights as a pro until he was beaten by Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada by unanimous decision in July 2013 for the world flyweight title. Melindo received another title shot in May 2015, but dropped a technical decision to then IBF junior flyweight champion Javier Mendoza of Mexico.

* * *

Melindo is the youngest of ten siblings and he said he fought an estimated 600 fights as an amateur. He decided to turn pro in September 2005 and won his first 29 fights as a pro until he was beaten by Mexican Juan Francisco Estrada by unanimous decision in July 2013 for the WBA (Super) world flyweight title. Melindo received another title shot in May 2015, but dropped a technical decision to then IBF junior flyweight champion Javier Mendoza of Mexico.

* * *

Melindo's pro career went through ups and downs and in his lowest times, he renewed his faith in God. "I thought that I would become champion because of my talent only, so my head swell," Melindo told spin.ph. "Now, I draw my strength from God." In November 2016, he battered Thai Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr. in 12 rounds for the interim IBF junior flyweight crown. Last May, Melindo finally became a world champion via first round knock out of Japanese Akira Yaegashi for the IBF world junior flyweight title.

* * *

Melindo could not afford to be complacent. He exerted much effort in reducing to the standard light flyweight limit of 108 pounds. It took him more than an hour to do so and a lot of sweat which could affect his vitality as the fight progresses. Melindo looked tired and drained after the weigh-in. Tapales' fighting skills were obviously affected because of exhaustion, when his title was lost in the scales, in his last fight with Omori, until the 11th round TKO came. Let's hope Melindo will maintain the same ring power and tactics and would not succumb to Budler's destructive body punches. The whole nation is behind Milan and may the Great Champion be with him.


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