By Carlos Costa, Photos courtesy of Highland Boxing Promotions
Filipino boxers Mark Melligen and Nelson "Mr. Fantastic" Gulpe successfully made weight for their respective regional title fights tomorrow in the Spring City of Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province in Southwestern China.
In the main event, Filipino southpaw Mark Melligen (18-4-1, 9 KO's) of Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, will face Thailand fighter Petchsamuthr Duanaaymukdahan for the vacant WBO Oriental featherweight (126 lbs) title. Both fighters scaled-in at 126 lbs., the limit of the featherweight division.
The 26-year-old Melligen - now fighting under Japanese management - comes to this China battle after scoring three successive knock out wins in The Land of the Rising Sun, and the Filipino wants more.
In contrast, the Thailander Petchsamuthr (8-2, 1 KO), a former Muay Thai kick boxing combatant, arrives to his square off against Melligen from a lost by points to undefeated hard-hitting Puerto Rican Olympian Felix Verdejo (12-0, 9 KO's) last November in Macao.
The Thailand warrior badly needs a win as he looked focused and serious during the weight-in proceedings today.
On paper, the seemingly more active and accomplished Mark Melligen should dominate tomorrow's actions in Kunming, China... though in boxing we never know.
The winner of the Melligen VS Petchsamuthr will not only becomes Oriental Champion, but will likely earn a coveted place in the WBO featherweight world rankings, a division where the world title is currently vacant.
CO-MAIN EVENT: GULPE VS YANG FOR WBC YOUTH WORLD TITLE
The co-main event will feature the clash of Filipino "Mr. Fantastic" Nelson Gulpe (8-1, 3 KO's) of Bislig City, Surigao del Sur, in battle against tough 21-year-old "Chinese Warrior" Yang Xingxin (7-3-2, 5 KO's) of Kunming.
"Mr. Fantastic" Gulpe scaled-in at 146.6 lbs (66.5 kgs), while the Chinese Warrior Yang Xingxin made 144.4 lbs (65.5 kgs), clearing the last hurdle for their WBC youth world title rumble tomorrow night.
In his last outing, "Mr. Fantastic" Gulpe lost a razor-thin split decision to Japanese fighter Accel Sumiyoshi in Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi, Japan, a fight in which one of the Japanese judges scored in favor of the Filipino Mr. Fantastic.
With speed, focus and superior skills Mr. Fantastic has big chances of defeating the Chinese boxer Yang to claim the WBC Youth Title. We'll find out tomorrow.
Filipino head coach Mr. Ericson Santig accompanies Mr. Fantastic Nelson Gulpe is in his battle in Kunming, China.
Supervisor of this 12-rounder war is Australia's Patrick Cusick, Secretary General of WBC Muaythai. Matchmaker of the event is Filipino Brico Santig.
The boxing event tomorrow (Saturday June 7) in Kunming, China will be aired LIVE through China on CCTV 5.
The international card is a production of Chinese promoter Liu Gang, head of the prolific Zovi Boxing Promotions.