MELINDO FALTERS IN WORLD TITLE BID
By Rene Bonsubre, Jr.
Sun, 28 Jul 2013
MACAO- Milan Melindo gave gallant stand but succumbed to the hardy and determined WBA/WBO flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada after twelve rounds at the Cotai Arena Saturday night.
It was a chess match of jabs, feints and counters from the start. They exchanged hard punches as the rounds progressed; Estrada was using lateral movement and tried to exploit his longer reach while Melindo tried to get in and land hard combos.
True to form, Estrada would take two to three punches and fire back. Melindo’s punches were accurate and he blocked Estrada’s hooks and made him miss a lot.
Despite fighting on the backfoot, Estrada remained dangerous. A cut opened on the outer corner of Melindo’s left lower lid in the 7th and became an inviting target for the Mexican champion’s jab.
A series of punches in the 11th round put Melindo down. He got up and survived the round. Sensing the fight was hanging in the balance, maybe even slipping away, Melindo gave it his all in the final round but Estrada was stronger and staggered Melindo who showed a lot of heart by staying on his feet till the end.
The scores - Rafael Ramos - 118-109, Takeshi Shimakawa - 117-109 and Zoltan Enyedi- 118-109. The scores did not reflect the intense struggle inside the ring. Most of the journalists watching the fight felt that it was much closer. This is Melindo's first career loss.
Top photo: Melindo goes down in the 11th round, the first time he tastes in the canvas in his career.
The Zou Shiming express continued to roll with a more fan friendly aggressive style. Zou tried to go for a knockout but Jesus Ortega lived up to his Mexican pedigree and continued to land hard punches till the end.
The scores – 59-55 for all three judges. This fight served as the main event for FISTS OF GOLD II.
IBF Featherweight champion Evgeny ‘The Mexican Russian’ Gradovich retained his title by a wide unanimous decision over Mauricio Muñoz of Argentina. The scorecards read 119-109, 120-108 and 119-109.
In a rare heavyweight battle held in Asia, heavy handed Andy Ruiz,Jr won by technical knockout in the 4th round over Joe Hanks. Concussive right and left hooks to the head sent Hanks down twice.
Referee Rafael Ramos stopped the fight at the 1:41 mark and Ruiz was awarded the WBO Intercontinental heavyweight title.
In an entertaining brawl, Rex Tso of Hong Kong beat Thai Rusalee Samor by majority decision after six rounds. The scores – Judge Sawaeng Thaweekoon - 57-57, judge Takeshi Shimokawa - 58-56 and judge Salven Lagumbay 59-55 for Tso.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Rene Bonsubre, Jr..
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