LONDON -- Cagayan de Oro pride Milan "Milenyo" Melindo is out to stretch his winning streak on Saturday when he fights Korean Jin Man Jeon at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu city.
He will be in one of the undercards in the "Philippines vs The World" boxing feature which will pit three other Antonio L. Aldeguer (ALA) stable boxers against three other foreign boxers in Cebu's only hotel boxing venue.
Rey "Boom boom" Bautista will try to resume his successful comeback as he heads the boxing card vs Alejandro Barrera of Mexico. Ala fighters Florante Condes and Jimrex Jaca will also fight with Sofyan Effendi of Indonesia and Pipino Cuevas Jr. of Mexico, respectively.
According to ALA stable president Michael Aldeguer, Saturday's presentation is their biggest promotion since the 2007's `The Moment of Truth' when they brought to Cebu the Gorres vs Montiel clash. This promotion is also supported by the country's top TV network ABS-CBN.
Melindo is a true blue Kagay-anon who grew up in Barangay Puerto. At the age of six, his father brought him a pair of boxing gloves and introduced him to boxing. He made the sport a hobby that earned for him a scholarship to finish high school.
After high school he went to Cebu to become a member of the vaunted ALA stable and started his professional career when he fought and decision Meljun Grumo on Sept. 17, 2005 at the Mandaue City Sports and Cultural Center.
Although lacking in punching power, Melindo complements his style with aggressiveness and relentless combinations. He now totes an unblemished 21-win record with six knockouts.
He has moved up in weight from mini-flyweight to flyweight where he is more comfortable.
I have watched Melindo fight in a rare boxing promotion in Cagayan de Oro city in late October of 2008 against a Tanzanian fighter Juma Fundi. Misamis Oriental Governor Oscar Moreno organized that boxing event at the packed Atrium of the Limkitkai Mall.
Milendo was hardly tested in that fight because of the mediocre opposition however, he officially announced his entry to big time boxing after successfully defending his WBO Asia Pacific mini flyweight by flooring the African in the third round.
From start to finish, Melindo did not allow the Tanzanian any space to execute his offensive combinations. An uppercut in the third round finished off the African whose dodgy checkered haircut was the only offensive thing about him.
Melindo captured his WBO Asia Pacific mini-flyweight title from Panamanian Carlos Melo at the Cebu Coliseum, in July 26, 2008 via unanimous decision.
I was very impressed by Melindo's aggressiveness. He is also very muscular and very agile. He packed a decent left hook and like any other ALA boxer, he was very fit.
He reminds me of another popular ALA boxer Andy Tabanas who was undefeated, for a long time, in the 90's. Andy fought for the world title several times but was unlucky. He retired leaving behind him a colorful boxing career but without a world title.
Now 20-year-old and still undefeated, Melindo has a bright future ahead of him. He still has a lot to improve though and he should impress the boxing fans when he clashes with the Korean pug on Saturday night. He should remember that this fight will be televised live over ABS-CBN as well as in the worldwide's TFC channel.
He should also remember that the entire city of Cagayan de Oro is behind him. His no. 1 fan, Misamis Oriental governor Oscar Moreno might come to Cebu for the fight.
We have seen an improvement in Milendo's arsenal when he knocked out Thai's Komirit Twinsgym in the fourth round to defend his WBC Youth Intercontinental title in Dubai last April 23.
Komirit was only a replacement for Columbian Devis Perez who could not get a connecting flight to Dubai because of the Icelandic volcanic ash fall which suspended the flights all over Europe during that time.
My only hope this Saturday is that he will continue his winning ways and probably fight for the world title this year.