Melindo to put on a boxing clinic vs. Buatkrathok

FORMER world champion Milan Melindo will attempt to put Thai slugger Chaiwat Buatkrathok to school in the sport of boxing when they face each other on Jan. 11 in an Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation (OPBF) Silver featherweight title fight in the main event of “Prime Fight 2: Melindo vs. Buatkrathok” at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC).

Known for his technical boxing skills, Melindo wants to teach Buatkrathok a thing or two in the sweet science and eventually end his night by knocking him out with a counter punch.

“Yes. I’m confident that I’ll knock him out because he’s a hard hitter. If you have heavy hands you can easily be countered by a knockout punch. I just need to time it well. I can’t say what round because that depends on him when he’ll throw his knockout punch and that will be the time that I’ll throw my counter,” said Melindo.

Buatkrathok is also confident that he’ll win the biggest fight of his life and end Melindo’s storied career.

“I will win a hundred percent,” a confident Buatkrathok said. “I will knock him out in the sixth round.”

Melindo brushed off the Thai’s words and told him that he has to prove it inside the ring.

“That’s just all talk. Fighters talk because they want to hype the fight. We’ll see on the actual fight,” said Melindo.

Melindo didn’t make the weight in his first attempt at 126.3 pounds. He made the weight at 126 pounds in his third attempt after taking off his underwear.

Buatkrathok, on the other hand, easily made weight at 125.2 pounds.

Melindo is 38-5 with 14 knockouts, while Buatkrathok has an equally impressive slate of 38-7 with 25 knockouts.

Prime Stags Sports vice president Pocholo Padilla believes that time is ticking for the 34-year-old Melindo and they want the quickest way for him to win a world title.

“At his age at 34, he’s not getting any younger. We want the fastest way to the WBC rankings and that’s through the OPBF. If he gets the belt then he’ll be closer to a world title shot,”

he said.

The current WBC featherweight champion is Rey Vargas, who’ll likely vacate the belt. Melindo, however, is still undecided on what weight division he plans to campaign at.

Melindo won the International Boxing Federation (IBF) light flyweight belt with a first round knockout of Japanese star Akira Yaegashi in 2017. He followed it up with a successful title defense against Hekkie Budler before losing his belt to Japanese Ryoichi Taguchi.

Undefeated Kit Ceron Garces trades leathers with Noli James Maquilan in what should be an exciting eight-round co-main event between two promising prospects.

Garces is coming off a convincing unanimous decision over Ian Donaire last Nov. 5.

Maquilan, in the meantime, beat Mark Jequinto via a fifth round stoppage.

Garces is 5-0 with four knockouts, while Maquilan is 4-1 with three knockouts.

In the undercard, former amateur standout Marco Pomar (4-1, 2 KOs) trades leathers with fellow prospect Alvin Camique (4-1, 1 KO); undefeated up-and-comer Carlo Bacaro (9-0, 6 KOs) will be tested against veteran former World Boxing Council (WBC) International super featherweight champion Ryan Sermona (21-11-1, 14 KOs); Ken Albert Bilita (1-0) is up John Rey Labajo; John Ver Espra (1-2, 1 KO) slugs it with John Mark Henchanova (0-1-1); and Kier Torregosa (1-2-1, 1 KO) takes on Henry Flor (0-2).

Cebuano YouTuber “Badboy ng Cebu” will also be seeing action in the undercard in a special attraction bout.

There will be 10 amateur bouts before the pro bouts. / EKA