‘Determined to win’

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Friday, July 19, 2013


IT HAS been Milan Melindo’s dream to become a world champion since he first laced up gloves. After years of waiting, he won’t let the opportunity of fulfilling his vision slip away.

ALA Gym head trainer Edito Villamor has helped mold Melindo’s career from a young prospect to a world title contender and the former world title contender-turned-boxing trainer has never seen his 25-year-old ward so determined and focused.

“He has improved a lot right now, his skills, power and mental preparation. It has been his dream to fight for a world title when he started boxing,” ALA Gym head trainer Edito Villamor told Sun.Star Cebu. “He has doubled his effort now compared to his training camp in previous fights. He is very determined to win.”

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Melindo, who has been waiting for years for a world title shot, challenges World Boxing Organization (WBO) and World Boxing Association (WBA) flyweight titleholder Juan Francisco Estrada on July 27 at the Cotai Arena of the Venetian Casino and Resort in Macau.

Melindo had some quality sparring partners in International Boxing Federation light flyweight titleholder Johnriel Casimero, world-rated Arthur Villanueva and Melvin Gumban.

Francisco, 24-2 with 18 knockouts, snagged the twin world titles following a split decision win over Filipino-Hawaiian Brian Viloria last April in Macau. Melindo, 29-0 with 12 knockouts, also won in that same event, a fourth round technical knockout over Tommy Serran.

Although Villamor hopes that Melindo wins, he isn’t sure on how the fight will play out because both boxers have opposite styles. He, however, didn’t count out a knockout win by Melindo.

“It depends on the actual fight, on who adjusts first in their fight. Milan is a counter-puncher, while Estrada is a slugger boxer,” said Villamor. “He has improved his power. It depends on the timing, because a knockout will come if he perfectly times his punch.”

Unbeaten prospect Genesis Servania is also slated in the undercard in his first international fight.

The 21-year-old Servania (21-0, 8 KOs) is up against one-time world title challenger Konosuke Tomiyama (23-5-1, 8 KOs) in a 10-round bout.

Melindo and Servania along with their corner Villamor, Michael Domingo, Robert Labanza and Abet Biagan will leave for Macau on Sunday.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 20, 2013.

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