by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Top Rank promoter Bob Arum has promised Milan Melindo another shot at a world title following his gallant stand in a losing bid to win the WBO/WBA titles from Mexico’s tough Juan Francisco Estrada at the Cotai Arena of the Venetian Resort Hotel in Macau.
Arum described Melindo as “a good fighter with a good punch and crowd pleasing style.”
The premier promoter in boxing said he had Melindo ahead at the end of the eighth round and “thought he was on his way to victory. But Estrada is Estrada. He keeps on the pressure right to the end.”
Arum said Estrada “did the same thing that he did to Brian Viloria. He put on the gas and pulled away.”
Viloria who lost to Estrada at the same venue last April 6 was in control by out-boxing Estrada in the early rounds similar to what Melindo did, but the Mexican came back strongly in the second half of the fight to win the decision which Viloria accepted without any complaints.
Melindo did the same thing and commended Estrada for being the better fight Saturday night but vowed to learn from his mistakes and to return to the ring a much better fighter.
Trainer Edito “Ala” Villamor said Melindo will rest for one or two weeks before getting back to the gym even as he conceded that “one punch changed the w hole fight” when Melindo suffered a cut under his left eye in round seven and as a result of the blood couldn’t see the right hand that dropped him in the 11th round.
When Arum was asked whether he could work on getting Viloria a rematch which trainer Robert Garcia believes Viloria will win because he considers him the best flyweight in the world today, he told the Standard that although he doesn’t promote Estrada, his people “have been very cooperative” and he’ll explore the possibility. Arum said "maybe, we'll see."
He said "I can give them (Estrada's people) opportunities that they won't get elsewhere."