MACAU—After lurking in the shadows of his more popular countrymen for a long time, Milan Melindo will finally get the chance to shine.
Impressed by Melindo’s methodical fourth-round knockout of Indonesian Tommy Seran Saturday night, Top Rank chief Bob Arum decided to give the stalwart of ALA Boxing stable a title shot at the conqueror of Brian Viloria.
Arum announced during the post-fight conference of The Fists of Gold card that Melindo, born in Cagayan de Oro but is now based in Cebu, will challenge newly crowned WBO and WBA flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico in the first week of August.
The fight is scheduled also at Cotai Arena of the The Venetian Resort and Casino here.
ALA Promotions president-CEO Michael Aldeguer welcomed the golden opportunity for the unbeaten Melindo, who feels he is ripe for the international stage at 25.
Boasting 29 wins with 12 knockouts, the 25-year-old Melindo was deprived of title bids several times in the past because many of the champions and contenders from 105 pounds to 112 lb are Filipinos.
As the mandatory challenger for the WBO flyweight crown, Melindo was at ringside when Estrada wrested the title from Viloria by split decision.
Undaunted by the way Estrada dominated Viloria, Melindo said: “I can beat Estrada.”
“I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for a long time,” Melindo told the Inquirer.
The 5-foot-2 Melindo noted that the Mexican “isn’t really that strong” as he failed to put Viloria down with his best and hardest shots.
Melindo, one of the country’s most observant fighters, said Estrada’s style is basic and wouldn’t be too difficult to solve in the ring.
Seeing how Estrada went the full 12 rounds without skipping a beat, ALA vice president Dennis Cañete said Melindo is in for a fight.
Fernando Beltran of Mexico’s Zanfer Promotions told two-time world champion Gerry Peñalosa he is interested in bringing the bout to Mexico to further boost Estrada’s stock.