Once beaten Filipino Milan Melindo (32-1, 12) earned the right to challenge for the IBF Light Flyweight title late last year when he defeated Mexican fighter Saul Jaurez in a less than inspiring contest. What wasn't known at the time was how long Melindo, dubbed "El Metodico", would have to wait.
Today it was revealed that Melindo's wait ends on April 25 when he'll finally step in the ring with heavy handed champion Javier Mendoza (23-2-1, 19), a man who won the title last September when he defeated Ramon Hirales Garcia in a really exciting battle on the under-card of Terdsak Kokietgym's memorable war with Orlando Salido.
Mendoza will be making the first defense of his title and although he's only recently emerged on the world scene it's clear he has talent, toughness and frightening power. More worryingly however is the fact he is improving and maturing and will turn 24 just a few weeks before his fight with Melindo.
As for Melindo this will be his second title show having previously come up short against another Mexican, Juan Francisco Estrada. Against Estrada we saw Melindo give a great account of himself as he attempted to claim a unified crown at Flyweight. Unfortunately despite impressing he did come up short against "Gallo" Estrada, in a bout that was much more competitive than the score cards suggested.
Sadly for the challenger he will need to travel, in fact he's going to be fighting the Auditorio Municipal Fausto Gutiérrez Moreno in Tijuana, the proverbial lion's den. This will be his first bout outside of Asia and only his third outside of the Philippines. A clear issue coming into this very tough contest.
(Image courtesy of boxrec.com)
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