Melindo seals deal to fight Estrada in July

By Abac Cordero (The Philippine Star)

Posted at Apr 21 2013 01:09 PM | Updated as of Apr 21 2013 09:17 PM

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The WBO flyweight title clash between Mexican champion Juan Francisco Estrada and Filipino Milan Melindo is a done deal.

The fight, according to ALA Promotions vice president Dennis Canete, will take place on July 27 in gambling haven Macau as part of another Top Rank card.

“The date is set. Only the minor details are being finalized,” said Canete.

Estrada took the WBO 112 lb title from Fil-American Brian Viloria last April 6 at The Venetian in Macau. But instead of going for a rematch with Viloria, the Mexican went the other way.

Even before the night was over, moments after he dethroned Viloria, the 23-year-old Estrada verbally agreed to defend the title against Melindo.

Now Viloria will have to wait, and perhaps face the winner of the July 27 clash later this year.

It will be the first world title fight for Melindo, who hails from Cagayan de Oro, and is undefeated after 27 fights as a pro.

This early, he said he likes his chances against the younger and taller Mexican, who has an equally impressive ring record of 23 wins and only two losses.

“I can beat him. I will fix him,” said Melindo who watched from ringside as the Mexican beat Viloria via split decision.

On the same night in Macau, Melindo wowed the crowd as he knocked out Indonesia’s Tommy Seran in the fourth round.

Canete sat beside Melindo as Estrada fought Viloria, and as the fight went on inside the ring Melindo was almost certain he can handle the Mexican if given the chance.

“He said he can beat Estrada,” said Canete, adding that Melindo is not worried if the Mexican is one or two inches taller than him.

“Milan said he prefers fighting taller opponents. He said his timing is better against taller opponents. He’s really confident,” the ALA official said.

Melindo said he will make sure he trains hard for the fight, and plans to begin training in the first week of May.

The pride of the ALA stable will work on his stamina because he knows that Estrada has what it takes to last the distance. They plan to use the services of triathlon experts in Cebu just to make sure Melindo is in great shape for the fight.

“Estrada is not that strong. He wasn’t able to knock Viloria out,” added Melindo.