For southpaw fighter Rufino this will be a third shot at the title having previously come short twice, in Japan. And it may well be his last shot at an OPBF title given that he turns 34 later this year and has already had in excess of 50 fights with 7 stoppages losses in a career that goes back 12 busy years.
Rufino's career has seen him becoming a very well traveled fighter. He has fought an impressive 13 times in Indonesia, 4 times in Japan, twice in South Africa, twice in Thailand and once in Mexico. Sadly for him however it's not seen him enjoying the greatest of success. He has claimed the GAB and LuzProBA titles in the Philippines but fallen short in bouts for international level titles such as the OPBF, PABA, WBC International, WBC Silver and WBC Asian ABCO titles. Unfortunately he's been the best domestically but never quite capable of winning a big one, though he has come close several times on the road.
Rufino's biggest problem is his lack of power above domestic level. On the domestic scene he has scored stoppages, in fact 12 of his 16 stoppages have come in the Philippines. Away from home and against a higher level of competition his power hasn't had the effect he'd have hoped. That's not to say he's been bad on the road, in fact there have been fights away from home that he deserved to win, but the lack of power hasn't helped him.
Aged 27 Melligen is the younger fighter with less wear and tear. He hasn't the level of experience of his compatriot but he's also not got the miles on the road. Whilst there obvious differences there are also similarities between the two men with Melligen also having a less than stellar record, in fact he was 2-2-1 (1) after his first 5 fights. Since that start however he has gone 19-2 with a razor thin loss to Carlo Magali and a stoppage loss in Thailand to Sukkasem Kietyongyuth
On paper Melligen has fought at a much lower level of competition than his compatriot. He has however been in sensational form in recent times with 8 straight wins since his loss to Sukkasem back in 2010. Of those 8 wins 7 have come by stoppage including wins in China and Japan as he's developed into a genuinely promising power punching fighter.
From the little footage that exists of Melligen he does look relatively basic but powerfully built and his southpaw stance and powerful left hand doe appear to be solid weapons that he knows how to use. He's not the busiest or fastest fighter but he does look a confident one deliberate one with some hurtful body shots in his arsenal.
Whilst footage of Rufino is scarce it's clear that he “can” win this but he needs to live up to his nickname of the “hustler”. He needs to hustle, make Melligen fight hard, keep the pace of the bout up and stop Melligen from landing his hurtful body shots from range. If he can't do that then Melligen, with his edge in youth and power, will over-come Rufino