World, here comes Milan

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Sunday, September 23, 2012


MILAN Melindo proved that he is ready for world title contention after putting on a world-class performance in a very difficult fight against former world champion Jean Piero Perez last Saturday night at the jam-packed Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City.

Melindo (28-0, 11 KOs) put on a boxing clinic early on, outclassing Perez (19-5-1, 14 KOs) with his speed and impressive hand speed. Melindo mixed it up, targeting Perez’s body and head from different angles and even rocked him in a few occasions from well-timed counter punches.

Perez started to find his reach in the sixth round and landed a jab-straight counter but Melindo retaliated with a thunderous overhand right, seconds after, that snapped the Panama-based Venezuelan’s head back.

Melindo’s work rate slowed down in the eighth when blood started to trickle down to his left eye, from a cut that clearly bothered him.

“I’m sorry if I didn’t knock out my opponent,” Melindo told the crowd after the fight. “I did my best to give a good fight. I didn’t expect that I would get cut. It’s hard fighting with only one eye.”

Perez started to gain momentum on that same round and slowly rallied to win some rounds. However, Perez’s effort wasn’t enough to win him the fight as Melindo was awarded with the close majority decision.

Judge Salven Lagumbay saw the fight as a draw with a 114-114 score, while judges Edward Ligas and Tony Pesons scored Melindo ahead with scores of 116-112 and 115-113, respectively.

“I look at it more as a learning experience. Every fight is not the same. The reason why we got Perez was to test Milan with different types of opponents,” ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer said. “He is ready for a world title but some fighters need a wakeup call.”

Rocky Fuentes (34-6-2, 20 KOs), another promising Filipino flyweight, successfully fended off tough Japanese warrior Myung Ho Lee (15-2, 5 KOs) to retain his Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation flyweight crown in an exhilarating 12-round affair.

Fuentes was the more effective striker and landed the heavier shots to earn him the unanimous decision nod from scores of 117-112, 117-111 and 116-112.

“Rocky was good. In fact, he had a lot of combinations and he showed that he is not a one-dimensional fighter. It was one of his best fights,” said Aldeguer. “Hopefully he goes up in the rankings and gets an offer for a world title fight.”

On the other hand, unbeaten prospect Arthur Villanueva (20-0, 19 KOs) had a good learning experience with a unanimous decision win over veteran Thai Pramuansak Posuwan (45-5-1, 24 KOs).

The scorecards read 80-70, 80-70 and 79-71 for Villanueva, who knocked down the 43-year-old Posuwan twice in the fifth round.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 24, 2012.

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