Melindo lost to a ‘better fighter,’ says trainer

WBA champion Ryoichi Taguchi, right, of Japan gets a punch from IBF champion Milan Melindo of the Philippines in the fourth round of their world light flyweight boxing unification title match in Tokyo, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017. Taguchi beat Melindo by a unanimous decision to win the both titles. (AP Photo/Toru Takahashi)

Milan Melindo’s trainer had nothing but respect for Ryoichi Taguchi after the Japanese slugger unified the WBA and IBF junior flyweight belts at the expense of his fighter on New Year’s Eve in Tokyo, Japan.

Edito Villamor took to his Twitter account to show appreciation to Taguchi, who outpointed Melindo 117-111, 117-111, 116-112, Sunday night.

“We lost to a better fighter last night,” said Villamor. “It was a great fight, thank you for all your support.”

READ: Melindo falls to Taguchi in unification bout

Taguchi (27-2-2) also won the vacant Ring Magazine junior flyweight in a fight that he took in the pivotal third and fourth rounds.

After Melindo controlled the first two, Taguchi managed to create space as he kept darting in and out of the Filipino’s range.

Taguchi then effectively had his best three minutes of the fight in the 10th as he outslugged Melindo heading into the championship rounds.

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