CAGAYAN de Oro-native Milan Melindo, 33, wore the sweetest smile on Saturday when he dominated Thailand’s Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr. (31-5-1, 16 KOs) via unanimous decision to capture the interim International Boxing Federation junior flyweight title during the Pinoy Pride 39: Road to Redemption at the Cebu Coliseum in Cebu City.
Judges favored Melindo with two scoring the fight, 115-113 each while the third have it 117-111.
With the victory, Melindo didn’t only improved his record to 35-2, 12 knockouts but, also paved way for the Mindanaoan fighter to return in the championship fight – where he last fought for the IBF world light flyweight in May 2015 but, lost to Mexican Javier Mendoza via technical decision.
“I’m so happy with the win,” Melindo said. “And, I want to thank the Lord for giving me this victory. Likewise, thank you to my family, fans, the ALA team, and to everyone who prayed for me,” he added.
Melindo is reportedly to face Japanese Akira Yaegashi on December for the IBF 108 pound division championships.
Meanwhile, Sakkreerin tasted his first loss in since yielded to Japanese Katsunari Takayama in April 2015 via technical decision for the IBF straw weight title.
In the undercard, Jason Pagara knocked Jose Alfaro in 2:15 minutes of the opening round while younger brother Albert Pagara dominated Raymond Commey via unanimous decision: 99-91, 99-91, 99-91.
Complete results: Jeo Santisima def. Rex Wao via TKO (2:28, R5); Jimmy Paypa def. Jerry Nardo via KO (0:43, R3); Kevin Jake Cataraja def. John Kenan Villaflor via KO (0:41, R1); Virgel Vitor def. Fabio Marfa via unanimous decision (60-54, 59-55, 59-55) and Virgel Vitor defeats Jonathan Francisco via TKO (2:50, R4).*