Petalcorin wants winner of Yaegashi-Melindo title fight
MANILA, Philippines – Perhaps no one will be watching Sunday’s IBF junior flyweight title fight more closely than Randy Petalcorin.
Petalcorin, the No. 4 rated contender with the IBF at 108 pounds, has a vested interest in what happens when champion Akira Yaegashi and interim titleholder Milan Melindo fight in Tokyo, Japan. The Davao-born, General Santos City-based southpaw says he’d like a shot at whichever of the two gets their hand raised.
“I want to fight the winner. I want Melindo to win but I think Yaegashi has slight edge to win. I hope the winner has the balls to fight me,” Petalcorin said in a statement forwarded to this reporter.
Melindo (35-2, 12 knockouts), a Cagayan de Oro native now fighting out of the ALA Boxing stable of Cebu, has lost only in his two world title shots, and has won his last 3 fights, including a decision this past win over Thailand’s Teeraphong Utaida to earn the interim title in November.
Yaegashi (25-5, 13 KOs) has won titles in 3 weight classes but has shown signs of weariness in recent years, having been stopped in back-to-back fights in 2014, and missing time due to a rotator cuff injury last year.
“I hope Melindo wins on Sunday so the Philippines has another world champion,” said Petalcorin’s promoter Jim Claude Manangquil of Sanman Promotions. “I also hope he gives Randy a shot when he wins. Same goes to Yaegashi.”
This isn’t the first time the camp of Petalcorin (26-2-1, 19 KOs) had called for a fight against his compatriot Melindo, but Manangquil said he received no interest from the Melindo camp in 2015 when he first called for the fight in 2015. It was also in 2015 when Petalcorin held the interim WBA title.
“The issue was the all-Pinoy world title fight,” Manangquil said. “I recently read that Michael Aldeguer said he is interested to do it. If Melindo wins, this is one of the best things that can break the ice." (READ: Philippine boxing culture must change to bring excitement back)
Petalcorin has won 3 straight fights against lesser competition since a dubious loss to Omari Kimweri last year in Australia. He returned to the gym this past week after celebrating the birth of his first child.
In the IBF rankings, one fighter, the No. 3 contender Ken Shiro of Japan, is ahead of Petalcorin and will face Ganigan Lopez for the division’s WBC title on Saturday, which may result in him dropping out of the IBF ratings afterwards. And with the top two rankings currently vacant, Petalcorin appears to be in the picture over the next year.
“There is really nothing wrong with an all-Pinoy title fight,” said Manangquil about what happens if Melindo wins the title. “I think this is one of the things we need to accept to bring back the glory days of Philippine boxing.”
Romero Duno will not be fighting Jovany Rota in his homecoming match in General Santos City, which is set for June 10. The Games and Amusements Board rejected Rota (9-10, 6 KOs) for Duno (13-1, 12 KOs), Manangquil told Rappler.
The decision is perhaps due to Rota being stopped in 7 of his last 9 fights, and Duno rising to be a top prospect after his knockout win over Christian "Chimpa" Gonzalez in March. – Rappler.com