CEBU CITY – World title prospect Milan Melindo survived a late charge by Jean Piero Perez to score a majority decision in their 12-round flyweight encounter on Saturday night at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.
The 24-year-old Melindo had a fast start, but faded in the late rounds allowing his Venezuelan opponent to mount a rally.
But Perez’s effort fell short as Melindo came away the winner by scores of 116-112, 115-113, and 114-114.
The unbeaten Filipino is now 28-0, with 11 KOs, as he remained on track for a shot at a world championship with this latest victory over a world-rated opponent
“Sorry kung hindi ko na-knockout `yung kalaban ko. Binigay ko naman `yung best ko,” said Melindo, addressing the appreciative Cebuano crowd that packed the venue.
Melindo suffered a cut just above his left eye in the eighth round that obviously hindered his vision. “Hindi ko akalain na masusugatan ako sa mata, and it’s not easy kung half eye lang mo nakikita ang kalaban mo,” said the rising boxing star out of the Cebu-based ALA stable.
The loss was the fifth for Perez in 25 fights. He has 19 KOs.
In the main undercard, Rocky Fuentes retained his Orient Pacific Boxing Federation flyweight title by beating Myung Ho Lee of Japan.
Fuentes hacked out a unanimous decision on scores of 117-111, 117-112, 116-112 as he made his sixth successful defense of his crown.
Also winning was Arthur Villanueva via unanimous decision over Pramuansak Posuwan of Thailand in their flyweight bout. Scores were 80-70, 80-70, 79-71.
Villanueva sent the 42-year-old Thai to the canvas twice in the fifth round with powerful body shots.