Manny to root for Melindo in Macau title tiff

By Dino Maragay, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jun 26 2013 09:10 AM | Updated as of Jun 26 2013 05:10 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Filipino boxing icon Manny Pacquiao will be at the ringside when Milan Melindo shoots for a world crown against WBO/WBA flyweight champion Juan Estrada on July 27 at the CotaiArena at the Venetian Resort Hotel in Macau.

Pacquiao, a second term Sarangani Rep., has made himself available for the Melindo fight in his continuing effort to support the Filipino fighters vying for honors on the world boxing stage.

It will be the Mandaue-based Melindo’s first crack at a world championship. The undefeated fighter (28-0, 11 KOs) currently holds the WBO international flyweight crown and has a chance to become twin champions against Estrada (23-2, 17 KOs).

Melindo, the No. 1-ranked contender for Estrada’s titles, gained a crack at the crown by knocking out Tommy Seran last April at the same venue.

Melindo is trying to become the Philippines’ fourth active world champion in the Macau card dubbed “Fists of Gold II”.

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Zhou Shiming, who recently turned pro, will headline the bout against Hong Kong’s Rex Tso.

A victory would place Melindo in the list of current active Filipino world titlists, alongside countrymen Donnie Nietes (WBO light flyweight), Johnriel Casimero (IBF light flyweight) and Merlito Sabillo (WBO minimumweight).

Meanwhile, two other Filipino fighters will see action in the Macau fightcard, including undefeated prospect Genesis Servania (21-0, 8 KOs) who will take on Konosuke Tomiyama (23-5-1, 8 KOs) of Japan in an eight-round super bantamweight bout.

Dave Peñalosa (6-0, 4 KOs), on the other hand, will take on Ngaotawan Sithsaithong (10-10-1, 5 KOs) of Thailand in a four-round super bantamweight match.

Pacquiao himself is booked to fight at the same venue on Nov. 10 against heavy-handed Mexican Brandon Rios, his first after suffering back-to-back losses to unbeaten Tim Bradley and long-time nemesis Juan Manuel Marquez.