MACAU – Milan Melindo stayed on track for a possible shot at a world title with a fourth-round stoppage of Indonesian Tommy Seran in the undercard of the Brian Viloria-Juan Francisco Estrada world flyweight championship match on Saturday night at The Venetian Resort and Casino Hotel.
Signs that it would be a short night for Seran came in the first two rounds when Melindo sent the Indonesian down to the canvas twice in succession to the delight of the huge, appreciative Filipino crowd inside the 15,000-seater Cotai Arena here.
The coup de grace finally came two rounds later when the 26-year-old native of Cagayan de Oro City connected on a solid left that sent Seran flat on his back.
The Indonesian tried to get up on wobbly legs, but the referee correctly stopped the fight at the 2:38 mark of the fourth.
Poker faced, Melindo raised both arms in triumph as he remained unbeaten in 29 fights, including 12 KOs.
The pride of ALA boxing stable also kept his No. 1 spot in the World Boxing Organization rankings, putting him in line for a shot at the flyweight title currently held by Viloria.
The Penalosa brothers earlier notched similar knockout wins over separate Thai opponents for an impressive start for Filipino fighters.
Dodie Boy Penalosa Jr. survived a harrowing first round by coming through with an impressive knockout of Nimithra Sithsaithong, putting down the tough Thai fighter for good with a solid 1-2 combination to the body at the 2:54 mark of the third round.
Penalosa found himself down on the canvas in the opening round as the game Sithsaithong whacked him with a straight left that perfectly found its mark.
But the 22-year-old Filipino regained his composure and bounced back strong in the second round by downing the Thai with a left of his own to even things up in the score card.
Penalosa pounced on the opportunity and incessantly pressured Sithsaithong in the third, eventually finishing him off with those two killer body blows.
The son of former two-time world champion Dodie Boy Sr. raised his record to 11-0, including 9 KOs.
Younger brother Dave also won by knockout over Cheroenchai Sithsaithong in the second round of the opening bout of the first ever major boxing promotion to be held in this former Portuguese colony.
Penalosa is now 6-0 with four knockouts.