by Ronnie Nathanielsz
In an unusual reaction to his opponent being three pounds over the flyweight limit, WBO No. 1 ranked Milan "El Metodico" Melindo (26-0, 10 KO's) welcomed former WBO light flyweight champion Jesus Geles of Colombia (13-2-1, 5 KO's) being over the 112 pound limit.
Melindo told BoxingScene.com/Manila Standard after the weigh-in when Geles said he couldn't shed off the excess weight that he was "not disappointed because its a bigger challenge to fight someone much heavier."
To Melindo, fighting Geles who weighed in at 115 pounds at the official weigh-in at the Robinson's Galeria activity center will enable him to "get better experience."
By his failure to make the weight even if he wins Geles will not be crowned champion in his battle against Melindo for the vacant WBO International flyweight title. But the thought of losing never occurred to Melindo.
The reigning WBO Intercontinental champion who successfully defended the title with a 7th round TKO over Juan Esquer last January 28 said he plans to "use my jab and play around and size Geles up in the opening round and go after him when I get into my rhythm.
Aware that fight fans at the Resort World Hotel in Manila could be more demanding that Cebu fans who always pack the Waterfront Hotel and Casino to watch the ALA Promotions - ABS-CBN "Pinoy Pride" fight cards, Melindo promised to "put on a show. I feel the challenge. I will show my skills that haven't been shown before including a secret weapon."
WBO light flyweight champion Donnie Nietes looked focused and determined to retain the title he won from Ramon Garcia Hirales last October in Bacolod City. Hirales earlier lost the title to Geles by a 12 round split decision in Cartagena,Colombia on February 5, 2011 but regained the title in a rematch on April 30, 2011 by a 4th round knockout in Mexico City before losing it to Nietes.
Both Nietes and challenger Felipe Salguero made the weight with no trouble but while Nietes refused to engage the Mexican in a battle of one-upmanship the cocky Mexican with a record of 16-1-1 with 11 knockouts made the sign of slitting his throat meaning he would finish Nietes.
The champion was unruffled and indicated he will prove his worth in the ring and make no mistake this time as he promised to entertain the fans in what promises to be an exciting title defense.
Former super bantamweight world title challenger Genaro "Poblanito" Garcia continued to strut around as though he were a world champion which he is not, while his handlers continued to make additional demands on the promoters of the fight card.
The real Genaro Garcia, not the fake who was stopped in two rounds late last year by Rey "Boom Boom" Bautista, predicted a mismatch, vowing to KO undefeated Genesis Servania (17-0, 5 KO's) and take him to school. Servania indicated he would teach the cocky Mexican some lessons of his own in the ring further heightening tension in an eagerly awaited bout which will be one of the three fights to be telecast on ABS-CBN Channel 2 on Sunday morning at 10:15 a.m. as well as on The F ilipino Channel which is very popular among Filipinos in the Middle East.