Milan Melindo loses world title bid vs Japanese foe
MANILA, Philippines – A fresher, faster Ken Shiro foiled Milan Melindo’s bid to become world champion again Sunday night, October 7, stopping the Filipino in the 7th round to retain his WBC light flyweight crown in Yokohama, Japan.
Melindo did not go down, but the fight was cut short at the 2:47 mark due to a bloody cut over the left eye the challenger sustained because of jabs and combinations in the earlier rounds.
The 26-year-old Shiro was ahead, 59-55, on the 3 judges ‘scorecards and was on the attack when American referee Laurence Cole called a halt to the bout upon the recommendation of the ring physician.
The 30-year-old Melindo stole the 2nd round when he caught and jarred Shiro with a wicked overhand right.
It turned out to be his lone bright moment, however, as Shiro, 3 inches taller at 5-foot-5, peppered the ALA fighter with punches to the face going in and out.
After the 4th round, Shiro was in control, 39-37, in the open scoring system and Melindo had trouble keeping up in step due to the Japanese’s agility and mobility.
Regarded as one of Japan’s current elite champions, Shiro improved to 14-0 with 8 knockouts in his fourth title defense.
Melindo, the former IBF light flyweight titlist, dropped to 37-4 with 13 knockouts and may have to rethink about his ring career following another botched title attempt. Last New Year’s Eve, Melindo lost to WBA champion Ryoichi Taguchi in a unification bout.
The Filipino left his mark in Japan last year with a first round annihilation of Akira Yaegashi in their IBF title duel in Tokyo. Now, it’s but a blurry memory. – Rappler.com
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