Milan Melindo takes shot at world title vs Japanese champ
MANILA, Philippines – Given another crack at a crown, Milan Melindo hopes to become world champion again.
Returning to the ring after losing his International Boxing Federation light flyweight title, Melindo will battle unbeaten champion Ken Shiro for the World Boxing Council light flyweight title at Yokohama Arena on Sunday night, October 7.
Melindo, 4 years older at 30 and 3 inches shorter at 5-foot-2, has been tagged the underdog against Shiro, who holds a 13-0 record with 7 knockouts.
Though shorter, Melindo has a 3-centimeter reach advantage over Shiro, a volume puncher, with his 166 cm wingspan.
Knowing the tough task at hand, Melindo trained diligently at ALA Gym in Cebu City under the supervision of Edito Villamor before flying to Japan, where he yielded the IBF 108-pound crown to Ryoichi Taguchi by unanimous decision at Ota City Gymnasium.
In Saturday’s official weigh-in, Shiro checked in at 107.75 pounds, while Melindo registered 107.5 on his second attempt.
On his first try at the scales, Melindo posted 109, one pound over the limit.
He went outside to sweat it out and returned 90 minutes later to make weight. He was exhausted but happy for the opportunity to tangle with Shiro and redeem himself from a clear defeat to Taguchi.
Melindo, a technical fighter, said he wants to serve as inspiration to the kids he’s teaching boxing in Cebu.
The winner has been mandated by the WBC to defend the crown against the victor of the Hiroto Kyoguchi-Jonathan Taconing bout later this year. – Rappler.com
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