Milan wants Japanese titlists
With his confidence a notch higher after a sensational first round victory over Japanese boxer Akira Yaegashi to wrest the IBF light flyweight crown last month, Milan Melindo is targeting another world title.
The 29-year-old native of Cagayan de Oro is willing to face any of the three Japanese title holders in three other boxing organizations anywhere, anytime.
Melindo said he would fight either WBC king Ken Shiro, WBA champion Ryoichi Taguchi or WBO Kosei Tanaka in the hope of ending Japanese domination in the 108-pound division.
Among the three, Taguchi, 30, is the most experienced with a record of 25-2-2 with 11 knockouts. He held the WBA title since 2014 and has successfully defended the title five times.
Shiro, 25, wrested the WBC title via majority decision against Ganigan Lopez of Mexico in Tokyo last month and has a 10-0 record with 5 KOs.
The 21-year-old Tanaka stopped Moises Fuentes of Mexico to win the vacant WBO title last December. He defended his title against Angel Acosta of Puerto Rico and has a 9-0 record with 5 KOs tucked under his belt.
Learning from his defeat, Melindo carefully studied Yaegashi’s style, and with the help of his coach, they concocted an antidote to win his third attempt at the world title.
In his first attempt, he lost to Mexico’s Juan Francisco Estrada in a WBO/WBA flyweight title fight held in Macau in 2013.
In 2015, Melindo also lost via a sixth round technical decision to Javier Mendoza of Mexico.
It was Yaegashi who defeated Mendoza for the IBF crown. However, in his third title defense, he lost to Melindo who decked him thrice in the first round.
Melindo, sporting a 36-2 record with 13 KOs, said it was up to his manager, Michael Aldeguer of ALA Promotions, whom to fight next. But if given a chance to choose he wants to face any of the three Japanese champions.
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