IT has been almost two years since Milan Melindo got his biggest fight, a title fight with World Boxing Organization (WBO) and World Boxing Association (WBA) flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada. He, however, lost badly in that fight by a unanimous decision.
Melindo has a chance to redeem himself and fulfill his dream of becoming a world champion as he challenges International Boxing Federation (IBF) Armando “Cobra” Santos on April 25 in Mexico.
“It is dangerous but it would be good for Milan to prove that he can win it in enemy territory just like Donnie (Nietes),” ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer told Sun.Star Cebu.
Filipinos have had little success in world title fights in Mexico except for Donnie Nietes.
Nietes, the current WBO light flyweight champion, fought three world title fights in Mexico and won all three.
The 26-year-old Melindo earned a world title shot after a unanimous decision victory over Saul Juarez in an IBF title eliminator last Nov. 15 at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City.
Mendoza, on the other hand, snagged the vacant IBF belt with a unanimous decision over former world champion Ramon Garcia-Hirales last September and then successfully defended it with a second round stoppage over Mauricio Fuentes in a voluntary defense last January.
The 23-year-old Mendoza should be a tough opponent for Melindo because he has won 10 straight fights. In those 10 victories, nine were knockouts, which prove that he packs a punch.
“He’s a world champion and a formidable opponent especially the fight being in Mexico.
That’s why we are preparing Milan to be in his best condition ever,” said Villamor.
Melindo is 32-1 with 12 knockouts, while Mendoza is 23-2-1 with 19 knockouts.
Melindo and some of his stable mates like Jason Pagara, who just scored a stunning second round knockout over Cesar Chavez in Davao City last weekend, will be flying to the US to train there, which could prove to beneficial for his upcoming bout.
“It will be a huge help for Milan, for him to acclimatize to the place and the time difference,” said Villamor.