Finally, a world title fight is scheduled next year for undefeated Milan “El Metodico” Melindo.
But first things first. The WBO International flyweight champion must first beat former WBA Interim flyweight king Jean Piero Perez of Venezuela in the main event of Pinoy Pride XVI: The Venezuelan Invasion on Sept. 22 at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino in Lahug.
ALA Boxing Promotions president Michael Aldeguer said he plans to pit Melindo (27-0, 11 KOs) either against WBO champion Brian “Hawaiian Punch” Viloria or WBA super flyweight ruler Hernan “Tyson” Marquez of Mexico next year. The two will clash in a unification bout on Sept. 29 at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.
Aldeguer said Melindo’s fight against Perez (19-4-1, 14 KOs), is far from being just a tune-up bout for his 24-year-old ward but another acid test for the ALA boxing sensation from Cagayan de Oro whom everyone expected to win a world crown ahead of Viloria.
Melindo will stake his WBO belt against Perez.
“We can fight Marquez or Viloria but we will first go toViloria because Melindo is the No. 1 contender in the WBO. We hope to stage the world title fight next year,” said Aldeguer during yesterday’s official launching of Pinoy Pride XVI at the Cebu Grand Hotel.
If Melindo beats Perez, Aldeguer said he will negotiate with Viloria’s promotional outfit Solar Sports or Marquez’s Zanfer Promotions during the WBO Convention in the US later this year.
Melindo is also in the Top 10 of the WBC, WBA and IBF.
Meanwhile, Melindo predicts an entertaining fight against Perez. “I have seen his fight tapes and he is someone who keeps coming forward and I like that kind of opponent who throws punches because it will surely entertain the fans.” Perez is ranked three rungs above Melindo by the WBA.
They both fought Francisco Rosas of Mexico with Perez settling for a 12-round draw in 2008 while Melindo stopped Rosas in 10 rounds last year.
Aside from Rosas, the 31 year-old Perez has fought and lost to Panamanian Rafael Concepcion, who is known here in Cebu for beating AJ Banal. He also beat former WBA champion Carlos Murillo in 2005. Perez last fought in Panama City last April where he stopped Michael Arango in the 8th.
Melindo’s record included wins over former world champions, Muhamad Rachman and Carlos Tamara and earlier this year, former interim WBO champ Jesus Geles.
“I have been scoring knockouts since I moved up in weight. I used to fight at 105 and won by points. Now, I have grown, my muscles have developed and my conditioning has improved so I have won my recent fights by knockout,” said Melindo
Meanwhile, OPBF flyweight champ Rocky “Road Warrior” Fuentes (33-6-2, 20 KOs) will fight Japan based Korean Myung-Ho Lee (15-1, 5 KOs) in the co-main event. Both are on a 13-fight win streak.
Fuentes is ranked in the top 10 of the four major sanctioning bodies and is also groomed for a future world title shot.
Aldeguer said the other undercard bouts will be announced in the next few days and that aside from Perez and Lee, another foreign boxer will face rising prospect Arthur “El Matador” Villanueva in the undercard.
By: Dale G. Rosal