MELLIGEN TO “STAND AND DELIVER”
By Rod Mijares
Mon, 24 Jan 2011
“Mark is so different now,” Edward Martin of Team Melligen blurted out in excitement when I went to the Martin residence to interview Mark Melligen, world rated Filipino welterweight and Top Rank’s prospect. The 24-year old Melligen (20(14KO), 2(1KO), 0) will fight against the 23-year old Mexican Gabriel Martinez (27(14KO), 1(1KO), 1) on Saturday, February 19, 2011 at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. They will be the main undercard of the world bantamweight championship fight between the defending champion, three-division world champion Mexican Fernando “Cochulito” Montiel and the challenger, two-division world champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash” Donaire.
This first world championship bout of 2011 in Las Vegas will also feature a rematch for the NABO/NABA/WBC Continental Americas welterweight titles between the undefeated champion Mike Jones of Philadephia against Jesus Soto-Karass of Mexico. Jones and Karass first fought last November 13 under the Pacquaio-Margarito fight where Jones won which many believed could have gone either way.
Top photo: Mark Jason Melligen (R) poses with his idol Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at the Mayweather Gym on Wednesday, Jan. 19.
Melligen (L) with Roger Mayweather and trainer Tony Martin.
Photos by Edward Martin.
“His jabs and punches have different sounds. They were so strong and powerful,” Edward added. “They were so evident in his sparring last Wednesday.”
“Malaking bagay ang training na ibinigay sa akin ni Coach Edito Villamor at ang mga natutunan ko sa conditioning coach ko na si Pio Geraldo Solon sa Cebu,” Melligen said in Filipino language. This was seconded by Tony Martin, Melligen’s Las Vegas based trainer. “His training and his conditioning while he was in the Philippines did wonders for Mark. His punches and jabs were so strong that they hurt my wrists as we used the mitts. More important is that his upbeat attitude is winning over the crowds in his favor like his comments after his win in Cebu where he asked the spectators if they were happy with his performance and they shouted in unison, affirmatively.”
Mark knew it. Tony Martin knew it. ALA Promotions in Cebu who believed and took him under their ward from the start of his professional boxing career knew it. His time of being a Top Rank Promotion’s highly regarded prospect should come to an end. He must no longer be a mere prospect. After a successful campaign in America with 8 wins and only 1 freak loss against well respected boxers, he should already be a world championship contender by this time.
“Kuya, alam ko na hindi lang ako dapat manalo. Kailangang manalo ako na walang duda, na masaya at na-entertain ko lahat sila. Lahat ng manonood mula rito sa Las Vegas hanggang sa makakapanood sa Pilipinas at sa buong mundo,” (Brother, I know that I should not just win. I should win convincingly and at the same time entertain and make all those who watch in Las Vegas, in the Philippines and other parts of the world happy), Melligen said.
ALA Promotions provided him with a personal trainer to hone his conditioning skill because they knew they have to give their all out support to ensure that Melligen will win and shine in his upcoming fight.
“Mark has to exceed expectations. He should win convincingly. I am pretty sure doors will open to him to a higher and more fulfilling level,” Tony Martin said. “Sky’s the limit for him. He has to outshine other fights to be recognized not just a prospect but a world contender for the welterweight title.”
“Melligen has already two sessions of sparring. 6 rounds last Wednesday and another 6 rounds last Friday. Melligen starts his training with a 45-minute running and conditioning in the morning. Next week we will increase his sparring sessions with 8 rounds each on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the Mayweather Gym,” Martin said.
If Melligen’s last fight in the Philippines was an indication of a better and more aggressive Melligen, then Martinez will be up for a good beating…and Melligen could say, “he came to fight, entertain and win convincingly and make everybody happy. I fought, stood and delivered.”
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