By Ronnie Nathanielsz
The longest reigning Filipino world champion Donnie Nietes, the WBO light flyweight king and his Mexican opponent Raul “Rayito” Garcia tipped the scales exactly at the limit of 108 pounds but former two-time world title challenger Milan Melindo was a shocking 4 ¾ pounds over the limit for his ten round bout against Maximino Flores set at 110 pounds at the St. La Salle Coliseum in Bacolod City on Saturday.
Flores had no problem making the stipulated weight at the official weigh-in at the Robinson’s place in Bacolod City.
One of the well-known boxing writers from Manila told BoxingScene.com/The Standard that Melindo was given two hours to shed the excess weight but that the fight will still continue since it is a non-title bout.
The reporter told us he believes Melindo who has a record of 33-2 with 12 knockouts “has no drive and feels his career is almost over.”
Flores has an impressive record of 13 knockouts in 19 wins with just 2 losses.
Nietes and Garcia are fighting for the WBO light flyweight a world title in the main event of “Pinoy Pride 36: A Legend in the Making” Saturday night at the Saint La Salle University stadium.
Both Nietes (37-1-4,21KOs) and Garcia (36-3-1,22KOs) looked ripped and ready with both fighters predicting a possible knockout victory within five rounds.
Nietes wants to extend his reign as the longest reigning Filipino boxing world champion while Garcia is determined to avenge the loss of his identical twin brother Ramon Garcia Hirales to Nietes at the same venue in 2011.
ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer decided to stage the fight in Bacolod because of the appeal of fans from Negros Occidental since Nietes is a native of Murcia town which is on the outskirts of Bacolod City which is also the hometown of Games and Amusements Board chairman Ramon “Monju” Guanzon.
Other ALA boxers seeing action are former world title contender “King” Arthur Villanueva (28-1,14KOs) and Juan Jimenez (22-9,15KOs) of Mexico, also made weight with Villanueva coming in at 117.5lbs while Jimenez tipped the scales at 118lbs in a battle for the WBO Asia Pacific bantamweight title.