Freeman Cebu Sports

Melindo set for Mendoza rematch

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Former two-time world title challenger Milan "El Metodico" Melindo (33-2, 12KOs) of the ALA Boxing Gym looks forward to a rematch with Javier 'Cobra" Mendoza (24-3-1, 19KOs) of Mexico in what would be an exciting aperitif to the WBO light flyweight title defense of Donnie "Ahas" Nietes against Mexican challenger Raul Garcia topbilling the "Pinoy Pride 36:A Legend in the Making" fightcard on May 28 at the 12,000-seater University of St. La Salle Coliseum in Bacolod City.

ALA Promotions President and CEO Michael P. Aldeguer said the fight is already a go as both boxers have already signed the dotted lines. It will serve as the supporting main event of Nietes' defense against Raul Garcia, whose twin brother Ramon was decisioned by Nietes to snatch the WBO 108-pound crown five years ago at the same fight grounds.

Also, the Melindo-Mendoza duel is going to be an IBF light flyweight eliminator, with the victor earning a mandatory shot at the regular IBF belt currently held by Akira Yaegashi of Japan.

ALA chief trainer Edito Villamor is very elated by this development.

"We're very thankful to ALA Promotions because after tough rounds of negotiations they were able to pull it off and bring the fight here in the Philippines," said Villamor.

"Mendoza is a tough fighter. We just have to prepare Melindo to be the best he could possibly be and make sure he's in top condition going into the match," added the Cebuano ring legend.

Their first meeting was shrouded with controversy, with Melindo suffering a highly questionable defeat by sixth round technical decision to Javier Mendoza in their IBF light flyweight championship bout on May 30 last year at Campo Nuevo Ensenada in Baja California, Mexico.

American referee Gerald White stopped the match after Mendoza sustained a nasty cut over his left eye and the judges awarded the win to Mendoza. Melindo's camp cried foul over the decision, claiming that Melindo should have been declared the winner as the cut was caused by a legitimate punch.

Aside from Melindo, 'King' Arthur Villanueva (28-1, 14KOs) will also see action in the blockbuster show at the City of Smiles against the dangerous Mexican champion Juan Jimenez (22-9, 15KOs), who is coming off three successive wins by knockout.

Meanwhile, the "Pinoy Pride 36" will be formally launched at 11 a.m. today at The Social in Ayala Center Cebu with no less than Nietes, Melindo and Villanueva gracing the affair. (FREEMAN)

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