By Dennis 'dSource' Guillermo
After years of patiently building up their fighters, all of sudden, the ALA Boxing stable in Cebu finds themselves with a slew of boxers who are on the cusp of becoming full-fledged world champions.
One of the most promising and exciting names on that list is undefeated 24-year-old flyweight Milan "The Method Man" Melindo, who is currently ranked as the number one contender to fellow Filipino Brian Viloria's WBO belt.
Fresh from his sensational first round annihilation of former world champion Jesus Geles at the Resorts World Arena in Manila on June 2, the buzz within the Philippine boxing community now revolves around a title fight against the Filipino-American champ.
ALA president Michael Aldeguer told this scribe that as much as they would rather want to face a champion from a different country like IBF title holder Moruti Mthalane, they will pursue a title fight with Viloria, especially if the WBO declares it as mandatory.
“Right now we’re just waiting for the mandatory. I know it’s against Brian Viloria,” Aldeguer said, added, “if I had a choice, we wouldn’t want to fight another Filipino, but if it’s there, if the offer is there, and we had no choice, we are ready to make that happen.
Viloria, in his part, told me that he is willing to face Melindo if he has to, but considers it as a bad financial move claiming that TV rights coming from Mexico from fighting a Mexican opponent like Hernan "Tyson" Marquez, or other Mexican challengers on top of the Philippines TV money, is a more lucrative move for him.
When I asked Melindo what he thought about a match-up with Viloria, or another Filipino flyweight champ in WBC and Ring champion Sonny Boy Jaro, the well-spoken and humble kid from Cagayan de Oro City wittily replied, "I'm ready for a world title fight," Melindo said, and added, "As a Filipino, it's not my nature to try and pull down other Filipinos who've made it on their own to reach the top. I would rather fight opponents from other countries, but if I had to fight any of them (Viloria or Jaro), I know I will win because of my intelligence."
Melindo has proven that he can beat opponents in any fashion. His skills, ring intelligence, technique, and now add to it his much-improved punching power, make him a serious threat to anyone in his division.