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Melindo falls to Taguchi in unification bout

By: Bong Lozada, Inquirer


WBA champion Ryoichi Taguchi, right, of Japan sends a left to IBF champion Milan Melindo of the Philippines in the second round of their world light flyweight boxing unification title match in Tokyo, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017. Taguchi beat Melindo by a unanimous decision to win the both title. (AP Photo/Toru Takahashi)



Milan Melindo saw a sour ending to his 2017 as he bowed to Ryoichi Taguchi in their unification bout for the WBA and IBF World light flyweight titles Sunday at Ota-City General Gymnasium in Japan.

The taller Taguchi used his two-inch reach advantage on Melindo (37-3-0) landing crisp long-range shots to keep his distance en route to a unanimous decision victory, 116-112, 117-111, 117-111.

Taguchi (27-2-2) was even able to land uppercuts as Melindo closed the distance.

The Japanese also added the vacant Ring Magazine light flyweight belt after defending the WBA strap for a seventh time since 2014.

This was supposed to be Melindo’s second defense of the IBF belt after he won the title from Hekie Budler in September.





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