Brutally battered, slugger Milan Melindo, 29, looked every bloodied inch headed for boxing’s wasteland at the start of the new year.
Don’t tell that to his excitable handlers.
ALA Stable CEO Michael Aldeguer said they had big plans for the methodical small puncher, who relinquished his IBF light flyweight crown in Tokyo a few hours before the close of 2017.
Melindo lost his crown in 12 rounds to a tall and crafty Japanese WBA title holder but, as things stood at the final bell, he remains a big sell in Tokyo. He had fans at the edge of their seats the whole night.
He started strong, but allowed himself to be dominated at the start of the second half.
He resurged briefly, before wilting in blood and agony to surrender his crown.
They lost to a better fighter, said his chief trainer Edito Villamor. Yes and no.
Melindo threw enough number of punches. But he didn’t lose plainly, he got sorely beaten.
Looking back, it would become clear that it was neither his short reach nor blinding blood that caused ultimate defeat.
More clearly, it was his inferior defense. Melindo had the silly habit of leaving his stiff head an easy target. He would often sacrifice and offer to receive in order to land a few licks of his own.
There are big plans but no apparent change in the ring methodology.
For example, Melindo should be taught to launch and land solid shots. It’s a must for him to avoid the throwing of half-baked bombs.
This could be misunderstood or misinterpreted. But as things stand, Melindo connects punches that are powered mainly by great grunts, windy facial meanness.
He wields a terrific jab, but his punches often emanate from the shoulders, instead of the main seat of power in the lower body.
He often ends up delivering virtual slaps, his shots devoid of snap and sting.
Of Melindo’s recorded 37 wins, only 13 came via knockout.
His handlers need not go to Roach and Beristain for secrets and pointers on how to deliver airtight knockouts.