This past Saturday was certainly a busy day in the world of professional boxing with notable bouts all over the world, from Japan to Germany, Germany to Cananda. Due to all the action some did sneak under-the-radar some what, including several bouts in the Philippines which featured former world title challengers looking to re-establish themselves as contenders ahead of 2016.
One of those bouts featured the talented, yet highly frustrating, Arthur Villanueva (28-1, 14), who was fighting for the first time since a controversial loss to McJoe Arroyo in an IBF Super Flyweight title bout. The talented "King" Arthur was up against the unheralded Victor Mendez (19-3, 15) in a bout that was supposed to help the Filipino rebuild some career momentum and claim the WBC International title.
Given his ability it was thought the bout was going to be a straight forward win for Villanueva, instead however it turned into a very frustrating night for the Filipino fans who saw both men stall and become almost mirror images of each other, waiting and waiting for a mistake. Neither man was willing to take a risk and neither was willing to force the issue in a bout that really failed to ever truly come alive. Both did have their moments during the contest but on the whole both failed to really turn in a performance of note.
The bout, which was close, in part due to a lack of action, saw Villanueva do just enough to claim the win with cards of 116-112 and 117-111, whilst Mendez won on the third card with a score of 115-113 in his favour. Although both did look like they had more ability than they showed, it was a case that the styles didn't gel.
Another of the men was Milan Melindo (33-2, 12), a former 2-time world title challenger. The talented Melindo, who was last seen losing a technical decision to Javier Mendoza, had complained about the officiating in his last bout but got very lucky as some questionable judging helped him claim a victory over Victor Emanuel Olivo (9-1, 4).
Olivo came into the bout as an unknown teenager and was taking the bout on late notice, filling in for the ill Carlos Fontes. Despite that he put in a truly excellent performance from the first round to the last as he forced the issue with combinations and movement. Melindo was left bloodied and hurt though managed to take the decision with some viewing the as an out-and-out robbery. The bout was scored 96-94 by all 3 judges, with two favouring Melindo though even the 96-94 in favour of Olivo suggested the bout was more competitive than it really was.
Whilst Melindo and Villanueva failed to shine AJ Banal (34-2-1, 23) put in a good performance, stopping Emilio Norfat (25-7, 19) in the third round, of their scheduled 10 rounder, and the exciting Kevin Jake Cataraja (2-0, 2) extend his perfect record with a cuts based TKO win over Ellias Nggenggo (10-9-3, 3)
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