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Melligen’s Future With Top Rank Hangs on Martinez Bout

by Ronnie Nathanielsz

Welterweight Mark Jason Melligen’s Las Vegas trainer Tony Martin says the fighter from the ALA Gym needs an impressive win over Mexico’s tough Gabriel Martinez (27—1-1, 14 KO’s) when they clash at the Mandalay Bay Resort Hotel & C asino Events Center on February 20, Manila Time to assure him of his future with Top Rank Promotions.

Martin told the Inquirer that “there can be no other result than a big win for Melligen (20-2, 14 KO’s) . Anything else will be on no use and therefore will determine his future with Top Rank.”

The trainer said Melligen who works out at the Mayweather Gym had completed his last week of hard training and is “in great shape and ready to rock and roll.” He said the hard-hitting southpaw’s weight was just three pounds over the welterweight limit of 147 and will surely make the weight at the official weigh-in on the eve of the bout.

Martin praised what he said was a “very good conditioning program in the Philippines (under Pio Solon)and has had very good training and sparring in Vegas. His diet and intake of food has been carefully screened by us and we have received assistance from my brother in law Rod Mijares.”

The longtime Cebu resident Martin said he was satisified the way everything has gone and that “its now up to Melligen.”

Martin said “I believe in him. Bob Arum believes in him. Now lets see the results.”  The veteran trainer revealed that since arriving in Las Vegas last January 15 Melligen had sparred some 70 rounds. He has  has sparred fighters such as Golden Gloves middleweight champion, 5’11”  Kevin Newman who is trained by Roger Mayweather and is “ a puncher boxer with good foot movement and fast hands. This boy is the same height as Gabriel Martinez and has a similar style.”

Martin said Melligen has also sparred with undefeated American super middleweight Dion Savage (10-0, 6 KO’s) and another Golden Gloves champion, 5’11” Chris Thomas who has “ a very awkward style, who will pressure you non stop for the entire rounds.”

He described Martinez as “a strong boy who can box and punch, and will be no push over.” Their fight will be on the undercard of the WBC/WBO bantamweight title showdown between Non.to “The Filipino Flash” Donaire, the reigning WBC Continental Americas champion and Mexico’s world champion Fernando “KO-Chulito” Montiel which will be telecast “live” by ABS-CBN.

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