One of the problems with “interim” titles is they often come about for no real reason. “Real” champions can be busy, they can have defenses lined up but sometimes the powers that be feel an “interim” champion is needed as well, as if we need champions in the world of boxing. One such questionable case is the upcoming OPBF “interim” Super Featherweight title fight between Carlo Magali (19-7-3, 10) and Mark Gil Melligen (21-6-1, 12), in what will be their third bout together with the men currently 1-1.
The “real” champion is set to defend the title in the coming weeks, however before then we'll see Magali and Melligen trade shots for what is a very unneeded secondary title.
Of the two men the one with the better argument to be in a title fight is Magali who's record might not look great on paper but he is better than the numbers suggest, and holds notable wins over the likes of Mark John Yap, Ryuta Miyagi, Rey Perez and David Browne Jr, who sadly passed away after his fight with Magali.
Magali's nickname, “Ferocious”, sums up his style which is aggressive and although he's not the most skilled he is a fighter who brings the pressure, looks to lets his shots go and make a fight of things. His key weapon seems to be his long right hand, which whilst crude does seem to have a lot of bad intent behind it.
Whilst Magali is an offensive minded fighter he does appear to be slow for the weight, relatively small, doesn't fight at a high pace and isn't quite as quick on his feet as he needs to be to make the most of his style. He also appears to leave openings to his body.
When it comes to Melligen his opportunity for an “interim” OPBF title fight seems to be a rather undeserved, in fact coming in to this he has suffered back to back losses. One of those losses was a technical decision against Vinvin Rufino, for the OPBF Featherweight title, whilst the other was a split decision in Japan to Yudai Tamagawa. Not only has he lost his last couple of bouts by the is now almost 2 years from a win of note, a stoppage of the then unbeaten Bualang OnesingchaiGym.
Whilst Melligen has shown promise at times, and was once 9-2-1, it seems that promise has now petered out and he now seems unlikely to really have a memorable career, in fact it seems likely that the 28 year old is just 1 loss from fading into relative obscurity.
Early in his career Melligen looked like a promising boxing but the recent losses saw him looking like a fighter with self doubt, a questionable toughness and more and more flaws. The experience of his career hasn't helped him improve and instead it looks like he is regressing.
Whilst Melligen may get back to his best, we suspect that the pressure and “Ferociousness” of Magali will be too much for Melligen, who will likely fold in the second half of the fight.
On March 25th we get the Flash Elorde Awards ceremony to celebrate boxing in the Philippines and the same show we get some fantastic fights. One of those fights is an All Filipino bout for the vacant OPBF Featherweight title between the highly experienced Vinvin Rufino (36-16-3, 16) and the once touted Mark Gil Melligen (21-4-1, 12).
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
Having canned the old "Full Schedule" of Asianboxing we have instead decided to concentrate more on the major bouts. This section, the "Preview" section will look at major bouts involving OPBF and national titles. Hopefully leading to a more informative style for, you the reader.