Milan Melindo out to capture second world title in Japan
Santino Honasan on Dec 30, 2017 04:28 PM
Can Milan Melindo move one step closer to becoming the king of the junior flyweights? (FILE PHOTO)
Earlier this year, ALA Boxing standout and reigning IBF junior flyweight world champion Milan 'El Metodico' Melindo captured his first world championship in Japan, shocking the world by knocking out long-time champion Akira Yaegashi.
On New Year's Eve, Melindo has the chance to end the year pretty much the same way, as he steps into the squared circle on the final day of 2017 to challenge reiging WBA junior flyweight world champion Ryoichi Taguchi in a title unification bout, Sunday in Tokyo, Japan.
2017 has been nothing short of spectacular for the 29-year old Melindo.
After knocking out Yaegashi in Tokyo back in May, Melindo successfully defended his title at home in Cebu at Pinoy Pride 41 against South Africa's Hekkie Budler in an entertaining twelve-round affair.
After capturing the IBF belt in May, Melindo made it clear that his goal was to become the king of the junior flyweights, intending on capturing all of the four major world titles in the 108-pound weight division.
"Parang super champion ka na, kung makuha mo yung apat na high-position belt, yung WBA, WBO, IBF tsaka WBC, parang king ka na sa isang timbang. Ikaw ang may hawak sa isang timbang."
On New Year’s Eve, Melindo gets the chance to move a step closer to his goal when he tries to snatch the WBA title from Taguchi.
It won’t be an easy task however, as Taguchi has kept a firm grasp on the crown since 2014, having successfully defended it seven times in the last two years.
For the second time this year, Melindo faces a hostile pro-Japan crowd in Tokyo.
For the Cagayan de Oro native, a repeat of history would be in his favor.
Milan Melindo and Ryoichi Taguchi battle for the IBF and WBA junior flyweight belts on Sunday, December 31st at the Ota City General Gymnasium in Tokyo, Japan.
Catch the telecast on Tuesday, January 2nd at 8:00 PM only on S+A channel 23!