Fists of the Future Final Press Conference

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By Byron Spurlock
Photos: Josue Martinez –

The “Fists of the Future” press conference was held Thursday afternoon at the San Mateo Event Center for the fights this Saturday. Unbeaten WBO #2, IBF #4, WBC #10 junior featherweight “Prince” Albert Pagara (26-0, 18 KOs) headlines against former world title challenger Cesar “Corazon” Juarez (17-5, 10 KOs). In the co-feature, WBO #1 junior welterweight Jason “El Niño” Pagara (38-2, 23 KOs) meets Abraham “The Swift” Alvarez (21-9-1, 10 KOs).

“Prince” Albert Pagara

How does it feel to fight here in the United States?

I’m very excited and ready for the fight. The US is the mecca of boxing and I’m ready to give the fans a good showing.

On Juarez’ comments that Pagara isn’t at his level as a fighter.

(Smiling) Juarez says that I’m not at his level. Those results will be determined in the ring. We’ll see come this Saturday night.

What has been your reception since being here to the US and where have you been training?

The reception has been good and we’ve been training here at the “Undisputed Gym” in San Mateo, CA.

What has been some of your preparation for the upcoming fight against Juarez?

We’ve been studying the way Juarez fights and we’ve been watching how he throws his punches and how he takes punches and we’re ready for the fight. We’ve focused a lot on speed and stamina and footwork for this fight. We’re ready for whatever he comes at us with.

What does this fight mean to you as a Filipino and what is next for you?

It would be a deep honor for me to bring home the belt to the Philippines. I plan to leave here with a win. As for who I fight next after Juarez, it doesn’t matter who I fight next.

Cesar Juarez

What is your prediction for the fight this Saturday night?

It’s going to be a battle between us on this Saturday night, I feel that I’ll come out on top. I feel that I lost the last fight against Nonito Donaire because I was going through some personal issues and some hardships in my personal life. I want a rematch because I wasn’t healthy in the last fight. As for now, I’m very focused for this fight. I feel a lot better for this fight and I’m ready.

What do you feel about “Prince” Albert?

I consider Prince a good fighter but he doesn’t have the experience that I do.

What are your thoughts about fighting here in the United States?

It’s a great honor and I came here to win and that’s what is going to happen. In my country, this is an important and big fight that I have come Saturday night.

Edmund Villamor – Pagara Chief Trainer

When asked to comment on the statement that Cesar Juarez said “Prince Albert is not at my level with experience.”

Juarez says that we are not at his level but we are ranked #2 in the world so we will see come Saturday night if we are at Juarez’s level.

Promoter Michael Aldeguer

How excited are you to have a boxing card like this in the US?

We’re very happy to be a part of this and making this happen. This is going to be an exciting night because both fighters have something riding on the line for this fight…this is a make or break fight for Albert and I have a feeling that this is going to be a tough fight…winning a world title is the main goal for “Prince” Albert and he knows it’s going to be tough and you’re going to have to face tough fighters like Juarez.

Jason “El Nino” Pagara

How do you feel about Alvarez’ fighting style being that in the majority of this fights, he either wins by knockout or loses by knockout?

Alvarez’ fighting style is definitely favoring me and come Saturday night in the ring we are expecting a knockout.

Ricardo Baltazar – Juarez Trainer

When asked how ready is Cesar Juarez for his match against “Prince” Albert.

We are more than ready, “Prince” Albert has not faced someone like Juarez before.

Vince Rodriguez

There are plans to already have another ALA Boxing card fight in Carson, CA on September 24th. From there the plan is to fight here in the US more often. We are also hosting more fights in other countries as well such as Dubai. We all know that the US is the mecca of boxing and that is why we’re here to showcase these fighters. Mark my words, the fight card that we’re hosting on September 24th is going to be Philippines against Mexico.

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www.fightnews.com/Boxing/fists-of-the-future-final-press-conference-345169

Jason Pagara, Arthur Villanueva, Genesis Servania win in Philippines

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Jason Pagara / Photo by Ryan Songalia –

DAVAO, Philippines – Filipino junior welterweight Jason Pagara capped the “Pinoy Pride 29″ card at the University of Southeastern Philippines Gym with a second-round blowout win over Cesar Chavez.

Pagara (35-2, 22 knockouts) dropped Chavez (24-8, 12 KOs) twice in the first round and once more in the second before referee Bruce McTavish stopped it at the 1:56 mark, sending Chavez to his eighth loss, all by knockout.

Pagara dropped Chavez early in the fight with a left hook to the body. With a knee on the canvas, Chavez took another hard right hand that gave him a good reason to stay down.

Chavez rose up, living up to his nickname “El Dolar,” which he says was given to him because he goes up and down like the foreign exchange rate. He was dropped again later in the round on a flurry of punches, perhaps feeling overwhelmed. The final knockdown in the next stanza came off of a lunging left hook from Pagara.

With the Sinaloa, Mexico, native down on the canvas and holding his right eye, the referee saw no reason to continue the bout.

“I’m ready for the next level,” said the Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, native Pagara, who has now won eight straight since his upset loss to Rosbel Montoya in 2011.

With virtually no domestic fighters in his weight class, Pagara’s opposition has been questionable at times. He says he wants to test himself against more formidable opposition, namely RING junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia and former 140-pound unified champion Amir Khan.

Pagara’s promoter, Michael Aldegeur of ALA Boxing, says the plan is to relocate Pagara to the United States this year to train in the Los Angeles area, where he can find the necessary sparring to improve.

Aldegeur says Pagara will fight on the company’s first U.S. card in San Diego on May 23 before having a step-up fight at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif., in September.

“Jason has always been someone who has been in question,” said Aldegeur. “People ask if he’s the real deal. When he comes up and fights some of the big names, that’s when we’ll be able to get some real answers.”

Pagara’s trainer, Edito Villamor, doesn’t put much stock into Chavez’s past shortcomings, however. He feels Pagara had a job to do it and accomplished it early.

“We don’t base off of the record. Mexicans are Mexican fighters. He got hit,” said Villamor.

 Servania scores lackluster win

If Pagara’s opponent brought out the best in him, Juan Luis Hernandez brought out the worst in Genesis Servania. For twelve rounds, Servania chased after the Tijuana, Mexico, resident in a fight that drew boos from the crowd on several occasions.

The 23-year-old Servania, who is currently rated the No. 1 contender to WBO junior featherweight champion Guillermo Rigondeaux (who also holds the RING and WBA belts), was unable to keep his three-fight knockout streak alive as Hernandez came to survive.

Servania (26-0, 11 KOs) started the bout strongly, landing effective left hooks to the body. His jab was absent for long stretches of the bout, however, and at times Servania left himself open for Hernandez’s counterpunches.

The fight seemed on the verge of becoming an all-out brawl in Round 10 when a left hook and a right hand turned Hernandez (17-4-1, 9 KOs) along the ropes. As Servania went to capitalize, Hernandez took chances to counter. Both fighters traded blows until the final bell.

“The opponent is not fighting. He kept running, he was on survival mode,” said Villamor of Servania,rated No. 4 by THE RING at 122 pounds, afterward. “Genesis’ performance was good; his opponent was the problem.”

 Villanueva outguns former champ Miranda

Arthur Villanueva rejuvenated his image as a future contender with a one-sided drubbing of faded former WBO flyweight champion Julio Cesar Miranda in a ten-round junior bantamweight fight. Two judges saw it for Villanueva by the score 98-93 while the third scored it 99-91.

Villanueva (27-0, 14 KOs), who is rated No. 6 by THE RING at 115 pounds, controlled the bout early, digging hooks and straight rights to Miranda’s midsection that slowed the 34-year-old down later on.

Despite being clearly shopworn, Miranda (38-12-2, 29 KOs) remained tough and tricky throughout, switching stances and throwing punches from awkward angles that found their way around Villanueva’s guard.

There were no knockdowns in the bout and Miranda eventually adapted to Villanueva’s power to coast to his inevitable defeat.

The win provides a much-needed boost for Villanueva after flat performances in his last two bouts against Fernando Aguilar and Henry Maldonado.

“I never mind that before,” said Villanueva, when asked if his confidence was affecting by those outings. “I only focused for my fight with Miranda.”

Miranda, who won a flyweight title in 2010 and made three defenses before losing it in a close bout with Brian Viloria, has now lost six of his last nine bouts, with one draw.

Earlier in the night, 19-year-old Mark Magsayo (10-0, 8 KOs) of Tagbilaran City scored a fifth-round technical knockout of Thai Sukkasem Kietyongyuth (13-4, 8 KOs) at the 2:19 mark in a ten-round featherweight bout.

Magsayo set the first knockdown up with a left hook to the body-left uppercut to the chin sequence which blinded Kietyongyuth to the right hand that followed up. The Thai rose up quickly but was met by a two-fisted barrage from Magsayo, who pounded the body to set up bigger punches up top.

As Kietyongyuth retreated to the ropes, Magsayo uncorked an overhand right that sent the Thai head-first out of the ring. The referee immediately stopped the fight without a count.

http://ringtv.craveonline.com/news/380429-jason-pagara-arthur-villanueva-genesis-servania-win-in-philippines

Donnie Nietes to face Luis Ceja on March 28

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MANILA, Philippines – RING and WBO  junior flyweight champion Donnie Nietes will defend his titles against Luis Ceja on March 28 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines, Nietes’ promoter told RingTV.com.

Nietes (34-1-4, 20 knockouts) of Bacolod City, Philippines, has made six defenses of the WBO belt since moving up in weight in 2011, and knocked out Moises Fuentes in May of 2014 to gain lineal recognition.

Ceja (26-5-3, 21 knockouts) of Tlalnepantla, Mexico, has won two straight after a period between 2012 and 2014 where he lost four of his six bouts. Despite Ceja’s inconsistencies, Nietes’ promoter Michael Aldegeur of ALA Boxing feels the 24-year-old is a worthy challenger for the 32-year-old champion.

“We got the contract yesterday (Saturday) so that’s confirmed already,” said Aldegeur. “We’ve heard a lot about [Ceja], he can punch. I think it’s something that we feel would be a good fight for Donnie. He’s a Mexican and a lot of people want to watch a Mexican and a Filipino fighting.”

The bout would be a final voluntary defense before Nietes faces former WBO strawweight titleholder Francisco Rodriguez Jr. in a mandatory defense. Rodriguez (17-2-1, 11 KOs) avenged an earlier draw with Filipino boxer Jomar Fajardo over the weekend, dropping him once en route to a unanimous decision.

Aldegeur says a fight between Nietes and Rodriguez could take place in June, with negotiations likely to begin this coming week.

Also appearing on the card will be former four-division champion Nonito Donaire, who will be returning to the ring for the first time since his knockout loss to Nicholas Walters. Aldegeur says “we have some names coming up” but no opponent has been settled upon.

The fight will be Donaire’s first in his country of birth since 2009, when he knocked out Raul Martinez in four rounds.

http://ringtv.craveonline.com/news/379585-donnie-nietes-to-face-luis-ceja-on-march-28

Donnie Nietes: The biggest little man in Philippine boxing

Donnie Nietes may not have the fighting style or gift of gab that make a boxing star, but the understated champion is gaining respect and making history

donnie-nietes-20141114_A4E4A421CE2941B5BD48AA30F70E5EE9Donnie Nietes will make the fifth defense of his WBO junior flyweight title on Saturday against Carlos “Chapito” Velarde. File photo by Jay Directo/AFP

CEBU CITY, Philippines – In a corner of a conference room at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu City, amid the cacophany of post-press con pleasantries, sits Donnie Nietes. Dressed neatly in a black, two-piece suit, Nietes is in his own world, his mind seemingly a million miles away from the chatter surrounding him.

Unless you were well-versed in the sport of boxing, you’d never suspect that this man was one of the world’s most revered fighters in the the lowest divisions. He’s a reserved person who doesn’t say much, whether it’s in his native Illongo tongue or his limited English. He doesn’t affect the superstar aura of Manny Pacquiao, whose infinite facial expressions keep photographers clicking away with their cameras.

He also won’t end up occupying a spot on the Mount Rushmore of Filipino boxers (those spots are reserved for Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire, Flash Elorde and Pancho Villa), but he could make a case as one of the top ten boxers to come from the Philippines when his career is done.

But for the past seven years, Nietes has quietly reigned over the strawweight (105 pounds) and junior flyweight (108 pounds) divisions, winning world titles with a style that is as subtle and efficient as his personality.

“His personality is not there. He’s not a very charismatic guy,” his promoter Michael Aldegeur of ALA Boxing bluntly stated at Thursday’s press conference. “He’s a quiet guy, he doesn’t talk much. I know that in time the respect will be there. [It hurt that] he came in the era of Nonito Donaire, Manny Pacquiao.”

Now 32, the RING magazine/WBO junior flyweight champion Nietes (33-1-4, 19 knockouts) from Bacolod City, Philippines prepares to face Mexican challenger Carlos Velarde (26-3-1, 14 KOs) at the Waterfront this Saturday, November 15.

The 24-year-old “Chapito” Velarde of Culiacan, Mexico has won three straight since losing a thrilling title challenge to Ryo Miyazaki in five rounds in May of 2013. Nietes will be making his fifth – and possibly final – title defense at 108 pounds.

If Nietes can’t get the attention of the public with his verbal skills or fighting style, he’ll have to do it with historical achievements. Nietes has tentatively planned to move up to 112 pounds – where greater challenges and greater respect reside.

Nietes is one of just eight Filipino boxers to have won world titles in multiple divisions, and he’s hoping to put himself in more exclusive company in a third division.

In particular, Nietes says he wants bouts with IBF/WBO flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico and RING/WBC flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez of Nicaragua, who have both achieved higher visibility in recent years due to their explosive styles.

Estrada (30-2, 22 KOs) has beaten well-regarded Filipino boxers Brian Viloria, Milan Melindo and Richie Mepranum, while Gonzalez (40-0, 34 KOs) faces ALA boxer Rocky Fuentes on November 22 in Japan.

All of that is contingent upon the outcome of Saturday’s fight, which headlines ALA Boxing’s “Pinoy Pride 28” card.

“We don’t know what Donnie will be like at 112,” said Aldegeur. “He’s been comfortable at 108, it wasn’t an issue for us to say he couldn’t make weight. We just felt there were bigger names out there, Donnie wanted to fight the big names out there.”

(RELATED: Junior flyweight champ Nietes to move up in weight after Velarde defense)

Another option would be for Nietes to stay at 108, where the WBO titleholder from strawweight, Francisco Rodriguez Jr., who will face Filipino journeyman Jomar Fajardo in a non-title ten-round flyweight bout on the undercard.

The 21-year-old Rodriguez of Monterrey, Mexico rose to prominence earlier this year in March, when he stopped previously unbeaten titleholder Merlito Sabillo to win the WBO strawweight title. In another Seven Degrees of Separation twist, Sabillo is also on Saturday’s card, facing Indonesian trial horse Faris Nenggo in his first bout since the loss.

In his next fight, Rodriguez bolstered his credentials when he outslugged Japan’s Katsunari Takayama to annex the IBF 108 pound title as well in what many consider to be Fight of the Year. He was originally scheduled to face Filipino Virgilio Silvano before Fajardo was substituted this week.

Rodriguez could be installed as the mandatory challenger by the WBO should he elect to campaign full time at 108 pounds, which he says is his intention.

Rodriguez made no secret of his desire to face Nietes, standing up on the dais to issue a challenge before declaring that his hotel room was substandard and dancing to “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” among other things.

“I was the best in strawweight and I believe Donnie Nietes is the best in mini flyweight. I want to fight the best. I believe I can beat him,” stated Rodriguez.

Whether Nietes stays at 108 or 112, performances like his most recent bout, when he knocked out Moises Fuentes in nine rounds in a rematch of their 2013 draw, will help build his popularity in the second half of his career. Nietes has won his last two bouts by knockout – a streak he hadn’t enjoyed since before he won his first world title.

Perhaps he’s realized that he won’t need to do much talking if his fists speak with enough volume.

“I think I’ll get a knockout in this fight,” Nietes said.

http://www.rappler.com/sports/by-sport/boxing-mma/74964-donnie-nietes-biggest-little-man-philippine-boxing

World champion Merlito Sabillo looking to make first defense of WBO belt at Solaire

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Lee Jimenez, InterAKTV /

Merlito Sabillo will make his first defense of the World Boxing Organization mini-flyweight title in grand style on July 6.

Sabillo, who was installed as the WBO’s 105-lb king on the strength of his huge interim title fight victory in Colombia last March, is being targeted to face Jorle Estrada, a Colombian.

The spanking new Solaire Resort and Casino is being eyed to host the world championship fight, according to ALA Boxing executive Dennis Canete.

The Solaire casino has been making heads turn the past couple of months and an appearance by Sabillo there could be a game changer.

Sabillo is one of three reigning Filipino world champions. The other two are Sabillo’s stablemate Donnie Nietes (WBO light-fly king) and Johnreil Casimero (IBF light-fly ruler).
The Philippines is aiming to make up for the losses suffered by main fighters Manny Pacquiao, Brian Viloria and Nonito Donaire the past few months.

After Sabillo’s defense in early-July, it will be the turn of another ALA puncher, Milan Melindo, who will challenge Viloria’s conqueror, Juan Francisco Estrada for the WBO and WBA fly crown on July 28 in Macau.

http://www.interaksyon.com/interaktv/world-champion-merlito-sabillo-looking-to-make-first-defense-of-wbo-belt-at-solaire

Nietes to face Fuentes in Mexico

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By:  Joaquin Henson –

MANILA, Philippines – WBO lightflyweight champion Donnie (Ahas) Nietes of Murcia, Negros Occidental, will battle mandatory challenger Moises Fuentes in Mexico late this year, his manager Michael Aldeguer confirmed recently, but is set to make a voluntary defense earlier against an opponent still to be named.

Aldeguer said he has come to terms with Zanfer, the Mexican outfit that promotes Fuentes, to stage the rematch in Mexico in November or December. Last March, Nietes and Fuentes fought to a majority 12-round draw at the Waterfront Hotel Pacific Ballroom in Lahug. The outcome was disputed by both camps. Nietes’ manager Marco Antonio Barrera said in his view, Fuentes won by a margin of four rounds. But ALA Boxing chairman Tony Aldeguer disagreed, asserting that Nietes threw the clearer and harder punches in a close fight.

When Fuentes met Nietes, he still held the WBO minimumweight championship. The Mexican has since relinquished the throne and is now the No. 1 contender in the 108-pound division. Filipino Merlito Sabillo, who also belongs to the ALA stable, has succeeded Fuentes as WBO 105-pound titleholder.

For a while, it appeared that Nietes would not agree to a rematch particularly as Fuentes demanded as a condition that no Filipino judge would be assigned by WBO president Paco Valcarcel. In the first encounter, Filipino judge Danrex Tapdasan scored it 115-113 for Nietes while San Diego’s Pat Russell and Las Vegas’ Adalaide Byrd saw it 114-all. Aldeguer said Fuentes had no business making the demand particularly as he never complained when a Mexican judge was on the panel in two of Nietes’ three title defenses as WBO minimumweight champion in Mexico.

It is not known if Valcarcel will assign a Filipino or a Mexican for the return engagement in Mexico. What is certain is the rematch will be in Fuentes’ home country. Aldeguer said since Fuentes is the No. 1 contender, he is entitled to challenge Nietes once more.

“Donnie sustained two big cuts above both eyes last March and he’s still not allowed to do any sparring,” said Michael Aldeguer. “But his next fight will be on Aug. 24 in Cebu. It will be a voluntary defense before the rematch with Fuentes.” Aldeguer said no opponent has been identified for the voluntary defense at the moment but he will be in the top 10 ratings.

Two of the top 10 contenders are Filipinos, No. 5 Joebert Alvarez and No. 8 Randy Petalcorin so they’re not in the list of Aldeguer’s candidates. Aside from Fuentes, there are two Mexicans in the top 10, No. 3 Javier Mendoza and No. 10 Odion Zaleta. Aldeguer will likely not tap a Mexican for the optional defense. That leaves No. 2 Kompayak Porporamook of Thailand, No. 4 Noknoi Sitthiprasert of Thailand, No. 5 Shin Ono of Japan, No. 7 Luis Alberto Rios of Panama and No. 9 Felix Alvarado of Nicaragua.

Kompayak, the former WBC lightflyweight champion, is now the interim WBA flyweight titlist so he’s moved up in weight. Rios was outpointed by IBF lightflyweight champion Johnriel Casimero last March so he wouldn’t be an attraction for Filipino fans. By process of elimination, the remaining candidates are Noknoi, Ono and Alvarado.

Noknoi, 26, has a 42-4 record, with 24 KOs. He has won his last 41 outings after losing four of his first five bouts since turning pro in 2003. The Thai lost a decision to Filipino Dondon Jimenea but has beaten all his other Filipino opponents, namely Edison Berwela (W6), Rey Loreto (W6), Donny Mabao (W10 twice), Dindo Nacionales (KO4), Joel Rafols (KO8), Carlo Besares (KO2), Jason Geda (KO3) and Tommy Terrado (W10).

Ono, 30, has never faced a Filipino. He could be seriously considered as Japan recently recognized the WBO. Ono’s record is 15-5-2, with 2 KOs. His last win by stoppage came in 2004 over Keijiro Mizuno and he has since figured in 14 bouts, losing thrice, two by knockout.

Alvarado, 24, is a dangerous customer with a 16-0 record, including 13 KOs. He’s coming off a first round knockout win over Carlos Melo last April. Melo went the distance in losing a 12-round decision to Filipino Milan Melindo in 2008. Six of Alvarado’s 13 wins by knockout came in the first round, indicating brutal punching power.

http://www.philstar.com/sports/2013/05/28/947202/nietes-face-fuentes-mexico

 

Melindo: Next Pinoy world champion

Everything is falling into place for WBO Intercontinental flyweight champion Milan “El Metodico” Melindo of the ALA Boxing stable. Last weekend, Melindo raised his record to a spotless 25-0 with his tenth knockout, this one over an unpredictable Juan Esquer. This lines Melindo up for a world title shot.

“The title fight will come, God will grant me that eventually,” Melindo said. “We will just follow the plan and have one or two more fights before we think about that.”

Melindo seems to have really found his identity as a boxer. He moved up in weight in 2010, and stuck to his technical, deliberate style with great success. He even changed his monicker from “Milenyo” to “El Metodico” or “Method Man” to fit. After all, he didn’t fight like a storm, and didn’t want to grab the name of a typhoon that devastated a great part of the country.

Meanwhile, though Esquer has had an up and down career the last few years, he did not come with a flimsy resume.In fact, “Panterita” or little panther has fought six opponents who would become world champions, beating future WBO minimumweight champion Kermin Guardia and drawing with eventual WBC light flyweight king Gilberto Keb Baas. He also said he didn’t care whose territory he was fighting in, he was there to knock Melindo out.

Even before the fight, you could see the contrast between the two. Melindo was reserved, just loosely moving about in his corner, while Esquer, clearly nervous, was bouncing around the ring as if he had just had a gallon of coffee. Fans did not expect a quick knockout because that was not Melindo’s style. But nobody expected the bizarre ending, either.

Melindo started off at his normal pace, bringing the fight to the Mexican, using his left jab to great effect, repeatedly forcing the Mexican back. The jittery challenger was throwing a messy variety of punches mostly off the mark. Some time in the second round, Esquer started complaining of low blows from Melindo, even ones that barely grazed his hip. Melindo was throwing an impressive mix of hooks and uppercuts with machine-like precision that clearly bothered his opponent.

A couple of round later, Melindo threw a body shot that went barely south of Esquer’s beltline. The punch was not even a real power shot. Ater a split second, Esquer decides to crumple to the canvas as if he had been castrated. He squirmed, grimaced, frowned, howled, squealed, and put on a really big show. Even his cornermen were laughing. Referee Danrex Tapdasan gave him time to recover, and sent Melindo to a neutral corner with a second warning.

Esquer pretended to stand thrice, then slumped back to the canvas squirming in faked pain. After more than three minutes, he got up, shaking his head as if still hurting, and the fight continued.

“He was trying to do something because I could feel he was getting tired,” Melindo told this writer in the vernacular after the fight. “It was a matter of time before I would beat him.”

The crowd at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu was howling, booing, yelling invectives at the challenger. When the fight continued, Esquer tried to show that the champion’s blows weren’t bothering him. Then at close quarters in the seventh round, it was Esquer that threw a clear low blow. Melindo complained, but since the referee hadn’t stepped in, kept fighting. The Filipino hit Esquer in the chest, and Esquer went down, writhing in pain and claiming it was a low blow. His own chief second asked Tapdasan to stop the fight. Esquer quickly left the ring to a mix of boos and jeers.

“My focus was really to follow the plan, look foropenings,” admitted Melindo. “I tried not to mind his antics, but stay focused on doing my job.”

Melindo’s humility, focus and patience are also born of lessons learned, like the time his stablemate AJ Banal, then 19, stepped into the ring against Rafael Concepcion in 2008 for the interim WBA world super flyweight title. At the time Banal, now WBO Asia Pacific bantamweight king, had overtrained, and ran out of gas by the eighth round. He was knocked out in the tenth. It is still Banal’s only defeat to date.

Milan Melindo is biding his time. Whether it’s against WBO flyweight champion and countryman Brian Viloria or someone else, he knows he will be ready. He wants to get there and stay there for a very long time.

 

By: Bill Velasco

http://www.philstar.com/sportsarticle.aspx?articleid=774267&publicationsubcategoryid=69