MILENDO GETS WISH
By: John Carlo A. Villaruel, Cebu Daily News
IBF world light flyweight champion Milan Melindo (left) poses with ALA Promotions International chief Michael P. Aldeguer (center) and ALA Boxing Gym match maker Edito Villamor after announcing his December 31 world title unification bout against WBA world light flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi of Japan. /CDN PHOTO CHRISTIAN MANINGO
Milan set for unification bout with WBA champ Taguchi on December 31
Right after Milan “El Metodico” Melindo scored a first-round technical knockout victory over Akira Yaegashi of Japan to snatch the International Boxing Federation (IBF) World Junior Flyweight title last May, he immediately demanded a unification title-fight.
However, the 29-year-old Cagayan de Oro warrior who is coming off a split decision win over South African Hekkie Budler last September 16 here in Cebu, had to wait for more than seven months to get what he wanted.
The winner of the Taguchi-Melindo match will then fight Budler for the IBF and WBA titles.
“I have a lot of confidence because I have faith in God. Sa akong depensa, mas more pa nga improve. I trained so hard kay mao ni ang ako gipangandoy nga dula,” said Melindo who holds a 37-2-0 (W-L-D) card with 13 knockouts.
However, Melindo is not taking Taguchi who holds an impressive 26-2-2 slate with 12 KOs, lightly, saying being a world champion is proof of the Japanese’s toughness.
“Kinahanglan gyod nga iyang idomina pag maayo kay sa Japan baya dulaon so kinahanglan impressive gyod iyang performance, win every round,” said coach Edito Villamor.
ALA Promotions President/CEO Michael Aldeguer told reporters that they were very excited for this fight because they have been working hard for it to happen.
The Taguchi-Melindo bout which was principally agreed by ALA Promotions and Taguchi’s promoter Watanabe Promotions last October, bumped into a brick wall when the IBF arranged a Budler-Melindo rematch following a protest by Budler’s camp.
“I went to China to meet with the IBF and we agreed that whoever wins the fight will go up against Budler. It’s huge for any unification especially since Milan won (the IBF title) it in Japan. It is huge not only for ALA Promotions but also for the whole country,” Aldeguer said.
Aldeguer added that the undercard fights will be announced soon.