Pinoy Pride XVI: Venezuelan invasion

CEBU – ALA Promotions formally launched the 16th edition of the top rated PINOY PRIDE series today in a press conference held at the Cebu Grand Hotel. The thinking man’s pocket warrior, Milan “El Metodico” will defend his WBO International flyweight title and risk his lofty world ranking against Jean Piero Perez of Venezuela in the main event. This fight is set at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel on September 22.

The 24 year old Melindo (27-0, 11 KO’s) is the WBO number one ranked contender and is also in the top ten of the WBC, WBA and IBF. He will be looking at the outcome of the fight between WBO flyweight champion Brian Viloria and WBA champion Hernan Marquez this September 29.

But first, Melindo must get past Perez (19-4-1, 14 KO’s), a former WBA interim flyweight champion. Perez is ranked three notches above Melindo in the WBA rankings.

Their common opponent is Francisco Rosas of Mexico. Perez had a twelve round draw with Rosas in 2008 while Melindo stopped Rosas in ten rounds last year.

The 31 year old Perez has faced quality opposiiton. He lost to Panamanian Rafael Concepcion, who is known here in Cebu for beating AJ Banal, but Perez beat another Panamanian former WBA champion, Carlos Murillo, in 2005. Perez’ last fight was in Panama City last April, where he beat Michael Arango by 8th round knockout.

ALA Promotions CEO Michael Aldeguer said that it is a big risk at this point to match Melindo against a world ranked boxer, but he wants to continue their tradition of providing quality fights that the fans want.

Melindo is no stranger to former world champions, having beaten Muhamad Rachman and Carlos Tamara and former interim WBO champ Jesus Geles.

Melindo has made no knockout predictions but but he promises a good fight. “I have seen Perez’ fight against Jesus Jimenez. I know that if he gets hurt, he fights back, he doesn’t back away. So, this will be a good fight.”

“I have been scoring knockouts since my body matured.” Melindo said, “I used to fight at 105 and I won by points. Now, I have grown, my muscles have developed and my conditoning has improved so I have won my recent fights by knockout.”

Also set to appear on the undercard is OPBF flyweight champion Rocky Fuentes (33-6-2, 20 KO’s) who will face Myung-Ho Lee (15-1, 5 KO’s), a Korean based in Japan. Both are on a thirteen fight winning streak and one of which will have to lose on fight night.

Fuentes is in the top ten of the four major sanctioning bodies and is also being positioned for a future world title shot.

‘I cannot afford to be complacent,” Fuentes said, “I have seen his fights and I know he is good.”

Also attending the presscon were ALA Gym trainer Edito Villamor, ALA Promotions VP Dennis Canete and PR Director Chad Canares.

L-R: Trainer Edito Villamor, Milan Melindo, ALA President Michael Aldeguer and Rocky Fuentes pose during Thursday’s press conference held at the Cebu Grand Hotel in Cebu City.

By: Rene Bonsubre, Jr.