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Like Pacquiao, Melindo seeks greatness

by Nick Giongco

Milan Melindo wants to keep out of the shadow of the country’s premier punchers as he revs up for his world light-flyweight title clash in Tokyo on New Year’s Eve.

“My goal is to unify all world title belts at 108 lbs,” said Melindo in Tagalog yesterday as he gets ready to risk his International Boxing Federation crown against World Boxing Association titlist Ryoichi Taguchi.

Melindo flies to the Japanese capital this morning alongside trainers Edito and Edmond Villamor and Michael Domingo and manager Michael Aldeguer.

“Manny Pacquiao’s achievements will no longer be surpassed and the same thing can be said regarding Donnie Nietes and what I want is to make a name for myself, too,” said Melindo.

To prepare for Taguchi, Melindo racked up over 100 rounds of sparring and sees Taguchi as somebody who can be bested provided that he executes his gameplan.

“Taguchi’s best punch is his left (hook) to the body and if you can prevent him from throwing and landing, you’ll beat him,” said Melindo.

Melindo enters the ring at the Ota City Gymnasium as the underdog being the visiting fighter but the 29-year-old Cagayan de Oro native knows the feeling having faced similar situations before and is undaunted.

“I’ve been there before…nothing new,” said Melindo, who is just one of three reigning Filipino world champions.

“My goal is to remain the champion as we head into the new year because my ultimate goal is to win all the other belts at 108 lbs,” said Melindo, pointing to the World Boxing Council and World Boxing Organization jewels.

“A win will not only be for myself and my family but for Philippine boxing,” said Melindo.

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