Earlier today Filipino veteran Vinvin Rufino (37-16-3, 16) claimed the OPBF Featherweight title at the third time of asking as he defeated fellow Filipino Mark Gil Melligen (21-5-1, 12) courtesy of an 8th round technical decision.
Rufino first challenged for an OPBF title back in 2010 when he narrowly lost to Naoki Matsuda. He again got a shot at the title last year when he was stopped in 8 rounds by Japan's Hisashi Amagasa. At the end of last year Amagasa vacated the belt to challenge Guillermo Rigondeaux and that opened up the opportunity for Rufino to get a third, and potentially final, shot at the belt.
As for Melligen this was his first shot at this level and at times it really showed as he seemed unable to cope with the power and ability of the 33 year old Rufino.
In the second round Rufino's power took it's toll on Melligen who was dropped for the first time, the following round Melligen was down again as he fell into a big hole on the cards.
Following the poor start Melligen finally found his way into the fight and mounted a small fightback. It was a spirited effort from the 27 year old though the hole he was in was a deep one and one that he couldn't climb his way out of before a headclash caused an early conclusion to the bout at the end of round 8. With the bout having ended early it was clear that Rufino was going to be crowned the new champion when the cards were announced, which he was with cards of 77-73 and 77-74 in his favour, whilst the third judge had it 75-75.
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