MANILA, Philippines—Undefeated Filipino fighter Milan Melindo hopes to build up his stock against Mexican Juan Esquer in the main bout of the Pinoy Pride 11 on Jan. 28 at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu.
A victory by Melindo, the 23-year-old reigning WBO Intercontinental flyweight champion, could set the Cagayan de Oro native for a world title fight next year.
“Milan is always determined to win,” trainer Edito Villamor said in the PSA Forum Tuesday at Shakey’s UN Avenue. “We’ve watched tapes of his opponent and we like his style. It fits Melindo’s style.”
“He keeps coming in and I like facing opponents who keep on coming in,” added Melindo. “But I can’t be overconfident because he might land a lucky punch.”
Melindo, who owns a 25-0 record with nine knockouts, said he’s also looking forward to take on WBA flyweight champion Hernan “Tyson” Marquez, WBC king Pongsaklek Wonjongkam or even Brian Viloria, the Filipino-Hawaiian who just defended his WBO flyweight belt against Mexican Giovani Segura.
“But I’m not in a hurry,” said Melindo.
“Hopefully we get a title crack next year because Milan has been a regional champion for two years now,” added Chad Canares of ALA Promotions.
Other Filipino fighters featured in the event are Jason Pagara vs Mexico’s Juan Castañeda, Merlito Sebillo vs Indonesia’s Sofyan Effendi, Joseph Von Minoza vs Japan’s Aozora Nishida and Alvin Arresgado vs Japan’s Kazuya Harada.