THE next best thing to a world title shot is facing an opponent who has experienced being at the top. That is what’s in store for the unbeaten Milan Melindo, as he patiently waits for his moment to wear the coveted crown.
The 24-year-old world-rated tactician is taking a cerebral approach to the ring as the supporting main event of the 14th installment of the popular “Pinoy Pride” series, headlined by a world title clash between World Boxing Organization (WBO) flyweight champion Donnie Nietes and Felipe Salguero, on June 2 at the Resorts World Hotel and Casino in Pasay City.
Melindo defends his Inter-Continental flyweight belt and is also gunning for the vacant WBO International flyweight belt against ex-WBO light flyweight king Jesus Geles.
“Any fight against a former world champion will always be tough. I can’t say if his next fight will be for a world title as we are just waiting for the offer as Milan is now WBO No. 1,” ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer told Sun.Star Cebu.
The outcome of WBO flyweight champion Brian Viloria’s upcoming title defense against Mexican rival Omar Nino Romero on May 12 would somehow dictate Melindo’s title hopes.
“Milan wants to fight for a world title and we believe he is ready. We are just waiting for the right opportunity,” said Aldeguer, who isn’t too keen of an all-Filipino war between Melindo and Viloria.
Melindo, 26-0 with 10 knockouts, is rated No. 1 in the WBO, No. 7 in World Boxing Council, No. 8 in the International Boxing Federation and No. 9 in the World Boxing Association.
Geles, 24, is on a comeback trail after losing a fourth round knockout to Ramon Garcia in their rematch last year. Geles won the interim WBO light flyweight belt in 2010 after beating Omar Soto by majority decision, he successfully defended his interim crown with a razor-thin split decision over Garcia. After being declared the regular champion, Geles bowed down to Garcia in their rematch. The Columbian owns a 13-2-1 record with five knockouts.
“It will be an interesting tactical fight as both can box and brawl. It will depend on who will be more calculated,” said Aldeguer.
There is a moment in every young prospects career that he is given a grizzled veteran as a measuring stick if he truly is the real deal. This is the opportunity for unbeaten Genesis Servania to prove his worth as he trades leathers with battle-scarred former world title challenger Genaro Garcia in the undercard of “Pinoy Pride 14”.
“It’s a risky fight for Servania but that’s the only way to find out if he is ready to go to the next level. In ‘Pinoy Pride’ the goal is to feature great fights that fans could be excited about. Yes it is for a WBC regional title,” said Aldeguer.