UNBEATEN Milan Melindo faces the biggest fight of his career when he vies for the World Boxing Organization-World Boxing Association flyweight titles against reigning champion Juan Estrada of Mexico on Saturday night at the Cotai Arena of the Venetian in Macau.
The 25-year-old Filipino challenger has high respect for Estrada, who’s making the first defense of the crown he won over Brian Viloria last April.
But the pride of ALA boxing stable said once they entered the ring for the 12-round bout, the Mexican champion will just be "an ordinary fighter" in his eyes.
Owner of a perfect 29-0 record with 12 KOs, the native of Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro tipped the scale at 111.6 lbs during Friday’s official weigh-in at the Cotai Arena.
Estrada (24-2, 18 KOs) also came in at 111.6 lbs.
Melindo fought in the undercard of the Viloria-Estrada title match when he scored a fourth-round technical knockout of Indonesian Tommy Serran in a performance that earned him a mandatory fight as the No. 1 challenger to Estrada.
The champion, who eked out a hard-fought 12-round split decision against Viloria, welcomed the opportunity to fight the top contender in the 112-lb division today.
“Melindo is the No. 1 rated fighter. I’m happy to fight the best. It’s a great experience to learn from the best so as to become the No. 1,” said Estrada, who hails from Sonora, Mexico.
Third man on the ring is Raul Caiz Sr., while the three judges scoring the fight are Rafael Ramos, Takeshi Shimakawa, and Zoltan Envedi.
The Melindo-Estrada title match serves as one of the main undercards in the second pro fight of two-time Olympic gold medalist Zou Shiming, who takes on Mexican Jesus Estrada in a flyweight four-rounder.
Two other Filipinos will be fighting in the undercards in undefeated Genesis Servania and Dave Penalosa.
Servania, a stablemate of Melindo at ALA boxing, clashes with Konosuke Tomiyama of Japan, while Penalosa faces Ngaotawa Sithsaithong.