Milan Melindo Optimistic about Facing Ken Shiro for WBC-108 Belt Oct 7 in Yokohama, Japan
By Carlos Costa
27 Sep 2018
CEBU, Philippines -- Filipino former world champion Milan Melindo (37-3, 13 KO's) appeared optimistic and in high spirits during an ALA Boxing Promotions press conference today (Sep 27) here in Cebu, Philippines, ahead of his world title clash against tough, undefeated Japanese WBC Jr. Flyweight World Champion Ken Shiro (13-0, 7 KO's) set for Sunday October 7 in Yokohama, Japan.
"I am happy to go back to Japan to battle for a world title fight," said a smiling Milan Melindo to the audience while seated besides his coaches Edito and Edmund Villamor.
"Because I won a world title in Japan before, I can do it again. Plus, I love Japan. I like the fans and I love Japanese food."
Meanwhile, his coach, Edito Villamor, 48, a former world-class fighter, head trainer of ALA Boxing commented:
"For this fight, Melindo is the man of the experience. It is experienced earned by being in the ring squaring off the toughest fighters," continued Villamor.
"In addition, at 30 years of age, Melindo is strong mentally and physically. He has sparred over a 100 rounds with good sparring partners in our training camp here in Cebu, Philippines, and Milan is just about ready; and his weight is the correct one 10 days before the fight."
Indeed, Milan Melindo - a fighter promoted by ALA Boxing - has fought some of the planet's top 112 and 108 pounders, including Mexican Juan Francisco "El Gallo" Estrada, with whom he fought a bloody blow-by-blow 12-rounder duel four years ago. He now aims at conquering a world title for a second time in his boxing career.
Melindo won his first world belt by ravaging Japanese IBF champion puncher Akira Yaegashi in less than 3 minutes in May of last year in Tokyo, Japan. The Filipino went on to defended title in a close split-decision win against multiple-world titlist Hekkie Budler of South Africa in September of last year.
But Melindo lost by points in an IBF/WBA unification match to then champion Ryoichi Taguchi (27-3-2, 12 KO's). Taguchi lost both titles in his first defense to Hekkie Budler last May.
As for the younger, cheerful Ken Shiro - born in Kyoto, the former Imperial Capital of Japan - the rumble will be the 4th title defense of the world title he earned by dethroning the champion Ganigan Lopez of Mexico in a majority decision win in May of last year in Tokyo.
Since then, the strong Japanese has defended crown three times against Mexican boxer-lawyer Pedro Guevara, Panamanian Gilberto Pedroza and Ganigan Lopez, whom Ken Shiro knocked out in two chapters in their rematch last May in Tokyo.
Will the undefeated tough, young gun WBC Jr. Flyweight World Champion Ken Shiro, 26, overpower the optimistic Filipino Melindo to retain for the 4th time his 108-pound belt?
Or will the more experienced Filipino challenger former world champion Milan Melindo proved too much of a warrior for the taller Ken Shiro?
Officials for the Ken Shiro vs Milan Melindo October 7 in Yokohama, Japan are:
Judges: Nathan Palmer of Indiana, Kevin Scott of North Carolina, and David Sutherland of Oklahoma; and the referee is Laurence Cole of Dallas, Texas. WBC Supervisor is Surapote Pongjivanich of Thailand.
Melindo's press conference was sponsored by the Summit Circle Hotel in Fuente Osmeña, C2 Classic Cuisine Cebu and Erickelle Marie Frances Laser & Aesthetic Center in Robinsons Fuente 3rd level.
Milan Melindo (R) poses with the author.
TWO MORE WORLD TITLE FIGHTS IN THE CARD
In addition to the Ken Shiro vs Milan Melindo, two more world title fights will complete the exciting Sunday evening of boxing in Yokohama.
"The Monster" three-division world champion Naoya Inoue (16-0, 14 KO's), arguable today's most exciting Japanese world champion, defends his WBA Bantamweight Belt from dangerous challenger former WBA world champion Juan Carlos Payano (20-1, 8 KO's) of the Dominican Republic.
Just last May, Inoue, 25, fast ravaged former WBA world titlist Jamie McDonnell in less than 2 minutes, and now "The Monster" targets the 34 year-old Dominican Payano a man with credentials, experience and a will to be a world champion again.
Furthermore, WBA world champion Kiryl Relikh (22-2, 19 KO's), the boxing hero of the landlocked Eastern Europe nation of Belarus, defends his world title from the fists of heavy-handed 38 year-old Russian former world champion Eduard Troyanovsky (27-1, 24 KO's), and this fight is not likely to make it to the final bell.
The evening of boxing at the Yokohama Arena, featuring three thrilling world titles, is a production of Hideyuki Ohashi, head of Ohashi Promotions and World's Hall-of-Famer Promoter Akihiko Honda or Teiken Promotions.
The author Carlos Costa is Fight Reporter born in Panama living in Cebu, Philippines. He attended the Milan Melindo's ALA press conference Sep 29 in Cebu. Carlos can be reached by email: Carlos512@hotmail.com and Whatsapp: +639184538152.
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