Milan Melindo, AJ Banal Shine in Cebu City Bouts

By Dong Secuya/

Cebu City – Milan “Metodico” Melindo showed surprising power and decked Rosendo Vega of Mexico twice in the first round to score a first round knockout win in front of a sell-out crowd at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel.

Vega was aggressive but he walked into Melindo’s right uppercut for the first knockdown of the fight. Vega got up and continued his pressure but a short right from Melindo sent him down again. Referee Bruce McTavish reached the count of ten at the 2:59 mark. Melindo (24W-0L, 8KO’s) remains unbeaten.

AJ “Bazooka” Banal blasted Francis Miyeyusho of Tanzania into submission, scoring three knockdowns in the second round and retained his WBO Asia-Pacific bantamweight title.

Miyeyusho, a southpaw like Banal, had his moments in the opening round by using his height and reach advantage. But in the second, a one-two combo from Banal sent Miyeyusho down. He got up but went down again from a right hook. Banal charged forward and a left straight,right hook combination sent Miyeyusho down for the third time.The East African was on one knee when referee Danrex Tapdasan reached the ten count at the 2:02 of the 3rd.

Rocky Fuentes beat Jemmy Gobel by unanimous decision after eight rounds.The Indonesian was content in surviving by excessive holding. This cost him a point in the 2nd round and Gobel was deducted another point in the 6th for throwing Fuentes down.

Fuentes had his way for the entire fight landing hard body and head shots. The scores read 80-70 for all three judges.

In what would be the most dramatic fight of the evening,Romeo Jakosalem survived two knockdowns and was way behind on points when he won by TKO over Canadian Steve Claggett in the 8th and final round.

Jakosalem toyed with Claggett in the first round; taunting and outboxing Claggett who had a bloodied nose. Claggett took the subsequent rounds using his jab and accurate combinations.

In the third round, a left to the liver sent Jakosalem down. He got up but a series of hard body shots from Claggett knocked him down again. Claggett was still bleeding the nose but built a commanding lead going into the final round.

In one last act of desperation in the 8th, Jakosalem willed himself to go forward and pinned Claggett on the ropes.Claggett staggered and covered but Jakosalem continued his assault. Claggett was trapped in the neutral corner receiving punches when referee Teddy Alivio signaled the end at the 1;28 mark.
There was a smattering of boos from the crowd who thought the stoppage was premature with the Canadian still on his feet.

Alivio said after the fight that he saw that Claggett’s eyes were glassy and that he was not fighting back. “My job is to protect the boxer’s life.” Alivio said.

Claggett was on unsteady legs after the bout and was attended to by medical personnel at ringside.

The only victory won by a foreign boxer was courtesy of Kenichi Yamaguchi of Japan. He edged Marjun Yap in a well fought, rough and spirited eight round battle. The scores read 75-76, 77-74, 77-74. Both boxers had their moments and Yap was visibly disappointed with the outcome.

Yamaguchi entered the ring wearing a ninja costume. During the pre-fight presscon,he said he was dedicating this bout to the people of Japan who are reeling from the devastating earthquake and tsunami.

The three ALA rookies scored stunning knockout victories. Albert Pagara won by 1st round TKO over Pablo Rey Seneres. Official time 2:21.

Boyce Sultan won by second round knockout over Francis Solis. Official time – 0:49.

Roma Rate beat Camilo Rey Seneres by first round TKO. Time 1:30.

Z Gorres and WBO minimumweight world champion Donnie Nietes were in attendance. Gorres gave a brief tribute to his former manager the late Rudy Salud, a founding member of the WBC. The ring bell was rung ten times to honor his memory. Former two time world champion Katsunari Takayama and his manager gave a speech honoring the victims of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

This was the 4th installment of ALA promotions PINOY PRIDE SERIES.

Tags: Milan Melindo image   AJ Banal image  
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