Melindo, Banal vow KO victories
() - January 13, 2010 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - They’re both shy and silent type of person, but ALA Stable stars Milan “Melinyo” Melindo and AJ “Bazooka” Banal distanced away from their self-effacing nature to launch a powerful verbal attack against their respective foes.

Speaking with high confidence level, Melindo and Banal vowed to deliver knockout victories over their foreign opponents in the highly-anticipated “Bakbakan sa Sinulog!” fight card tomorrow night at the Pacific grand ballroom of Waterfront-Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

The undefeated Melindo (19-0, 5KOs) vies for his third regional title in third weight division as he challenges WBC Intercontinental Youth flyweight champion Anthony “Baby Assassin” Villareal (9-2, 4KOs) of the United Stares, while Banal (20-1, 16KOs) takes on the dangerous Mexican toughie Cecilio “Boga” Santos Galindo (24-11-3, 14KOs) in a 10-round super flyweight rumble.

“If he’s (Villareal) confident, I’m more confident than him to win this fight. What is important is that I would make the fans happy,” said Melindo in a pre-fight news conference yesterday at the Aegean Room of Waterfront.

When asked how he is going to win the bout, Melindo quickly replied “by knockout.”

The 22-year-old Villareal seemed unfazed by Melindo’s brazen remarks.

“Good luck for the knockout, it’s good,” said Villareal in slight jest. “ I’ve got speed, power, movements. I got whatever it takes to win. We’ll just see if he got hold of the power I have. We’re ready to go,” added Villareal, a three-time Golden Glove champion who gleaned on a vast experience of 89 ring assignments as an amateur.

Alberto Franco, Villareal, spoke on the same positive tone. “This is our fight. We gonna win. We got much size, we got much speed, we got much power, we got much experience and everything,” he said.

Banal, on the other hand, is likewise optimistic that his bout against Santos would not go the full distance.

“I’m going to win by knockout, that’s a hundred percent sure,” forewarned Banal, who is on a three-fight winning roll since absorbing his first and only defeat so far at the hands of Rafael “El Torito” Concepcion of Panama during their interim WBA super flyweight championship match in July last year at the Cebu Coliseum.

While Banal aims for a stoppage, the 31-year-old Santos said he fights to gain respect and recognition he needed to once again face the best fighters in the world in his division.

“I want to beat Banal because I want to be ranked in the world and take on the best fighters in the world,” said Santos, a veteran of 48 bouts who fought the likes of WBO super flyweight titlist Fernando Montiel, former IBF jr bantamweight crown-holder Dmitri Kirilov and Luis Melendez, the same guy who ended the career of Z “The Dream” Gorres.

If he gets past Santos, Banal said he is ready to take another shot at a world title, but his manager ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer said they will take things one at a time.

“There’s really no substitute of experience. He ask for it, he’s ready for it but we we must be patient about it,” said Aldeguer.

 In the must-see undercard of the four-nation extravaganza presented by ALA Promotions in partnership with SMART Communications, ABC TV 5 and the Amateur Boxing Association of the Philippines (ABAP), ALA mainstays James Bacon and Larry “Bonjovi” Canillas will trade mitts with separate Thai foes.

Bacon (13-1-0,8 KOs) will square off against Thittichon Singwancha (12-3, 2KOs), while Canillas (11-1, 11KOs) will take on Pet Twin Gym (8-3-1, 6KOs).

The rest of the card pits Jojo Intor of Negros Occidental against Romnick Hoybia of Bohol and Jonel Gadapan of Cagayan de Oro versus Jayson Inso of Mandaue City.

SMART sports marketing and special projects head Patrick “Pato” C. Gregorio also announced that two exciting duel featuring national amateur boxers will spice up the pro action in Adonis Cabalquinto against Jimmy Vallares and Karina Jane Recaido opposite Irish Magno. Karina Jane is the daughter of former Asian Games gold medallist and two-time Olympian Elias Recaido.

Gregorio added that the slambang show will be aired on ABC TV 5 on a slightly delayed basis.

Tickets are priced at P1,500 for VIP first row, P1, 250 for VIP second row, P1,000 for VIP third row, P500 for ringside, P300 for ballroom and P250 for balcony.  – THE FREEMAN

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