STORY OF PHILIPPINE BOXING PART XLVI: MILAN MELINDO, IBF WORLD LIGHT FLYWEIGHT CHAMPION
By Maloney L. Samaco
Sat, 06 Jun 2020
Milan Melindo successfully defended his WBO International flyweight title by winning against Venezuelan Jean Piero Perez via majority decision on September 22, 2012 at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City.
Then he stopped Tommy Seran of Indonesia in the 4th round by TKO, flooring him thrice, once each in the 1st, 2nd and 4th rounds. It was fought in the undercard of the Brian Viloria vs. Juan Francisco Estrada world championship at The Venetian in Macau, China on April 6, 2013.
Then Juan "El Gallo" Francisco Estrada successfully defended his WBO and WBA flyweight titles against Milan "El Metodico" Melindo at Cotai Arena, Venetian Resort in Macao, China on July 27, 2013.
He floored the previously unbeaten Filipino in the 11th round en route to a unanimous decision win. Takeshi Shimakawa of Japan had it 117-109, Zoltan Enyedi of Hungary saw it 118-109, and Rafael Ramos of Texas, USA scored it 118-109.
Melindo used his methodical fight by beating Mexico's Jose Alfredo "Torito" Rodriguez at the Araneta Coliseum, Cubao Quezon City on November 30, 2013. Using tremendous hand-speed and excellent movement, Melindo hit the Mexican with pummeling left jabs and solid right punches to easily win the WBO international flyweight championship via unanimous decision.
He defended his title by outpointing Mexico's Martin Tecuapetla by majority decision at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City. He also triumphed over another Mexican Saul Juarez by unanimous decision at the Waterfront Hotel, Cebu City.
He was unsuccessful in his attempt at the IBF world light flyweight title, losing to Javier Mendoza of Mexico by 6th round technical decision. Melindo was cut over his right eye in a head butt in the 6th round.
The bout was stopped due to a cut over Mendoza's left eye suffered in another head butt which also happened in 6th. The Mexican was leading in all three scorecards 59-53, 60-52 and 60-52 when the fight was halted.
Melindo edged Victor Emmanuel Olivo of Mexico by split decision. Then he won over another Mexican Maximino Flores by 7th round technical decision. The fight was stopped due to a cut above Melindo's left eye caused by an accidental headbutt in the 7th round.
He fought Thailand's Teeraphong Utaida alias Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr. for the interim IBF world light flyweight title at the Cebu Coliseum on November 26, 2016 by unanimous decision.
“El Metodico” Melindo finally won a world championship after a first-round knockout of Japanese Akira Yaegashi for the IBF world light flyweight title at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo, Japan on May 21, 2017.
Melindo dropped Yaegashi, the reigning IBF world champion, twice in the first round, prompting the referee to stop off the fight at the 2:45 mark. It was the third world title fight for Melindo, and this time he emerged victorious.
The opponent he destroyed in one round is a boxing icon in Japan. Yaegashi was a former three-weight world champion, having held the WBA minimumweight title, the WBC, Ring, and lineal flyweight titles and the IBF light flyweight title.
Melindo defended his IBF junior flyweight title with a dominating 11th round and a knockdown of Hekkie Budler of Johannesburg, South Africa in the 12th round to win by split decision on September 16, 2017 at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City.
One judge Carl Zappia of Australia had it 115-113 for Budler while the other two Takeo Harada of Japan had it 117-110 and Glenn Trowbridge of Las Vegas saw it 115-112 for Melindo.
On New Year's Eve December 31, 2017, Melindo fought Japan's Ryoichi Taguchi for the IBF and WBA world light flyweight title unification at the Ota-City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.
Both men were wounded and bloodied but it was Taguchi who won a unanimous decision to unify his WBA title with Melindo's IBF title, while grabbing the vacant Ring light flyweight championship.
Japan’s Kenshiro Teraji spoiled Melindo’s bid to become world champion again on October 7, 2018 by winning a 7th round TKO to retain his WBC light flyweight crown in Yokohama, Japan.
There were no knockdowns, but the fight was stopped at the 2:47 of the 7th round due to a nasty cut above the left eye of Melindo because of the champion's punches. The undefeated Teraji was ahead, 59-55, on all the 3 judges' scorecards when American referee Laurence Cole halted the bout upon the recommendation of the ring physician.
World-rated flyweight Junto Nakatani of Japan stopped Melindo in the 6th round at the famed Korakuen Hall, Tokyo on October 5, 2019. The undefeated Nakatani, was ranked No. 10 by The Ring dominated the fight until referee Yuji Fukuchi stopped the fight at 2:02 of the 6th round.
Melindo has 42 total bouts, 37 wins with 13 KOs, 5 losses with only 2 KO defeats.
Click here to view a list of other articles written by Maloney L. Samaco.
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