November 26, 2016 Pinoy Pride 39 Milan Milendo vs Fahlan Sakkreekin Jr at Cebu Coliseum, Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines for the interim IBF World light flyweight title

Milan Melindo defeats Fahlan Sakkreerin by decision to finally win a world title
A third attempt is all Milan Melindo had needed to finally lay his hand on a world title. The Filipino boxer outclassed Thailand’s Fahlan Sakkreerin (31-5, 16KOs) to win the interim IBF world junior flyweight title by decision at the Pinoy Pride 39 event. The event was held on Saturday night at the Cebu Coliseum with Melindo and Sakkreerin as its headliners.

The two light flyweight boxers tackled each other unrelentingly round by round in a match that lasted through to the twelfth round.

An undisputed win for Melindo

When the final bell had sounded to signify the end of the match and the judges’ cards flashed to reveal the winner, Melindo ‘El Metodico’ was indisputably the winner. He had won by the three judges’ unanimous decision. The three cards read 117-111, 115-113, and 115-113 in favor of Melindo. The fact that a Thailand judge (Sanong Aum Im) was among the two judges who each gave Melindo a 115 score shows that he was outrightly a winner Saturday night.

Perfect timing and perfect shots

Melindo’s winning recipe in Ceby city Saturday night comprised of two main things, perfect timing and accurate punching. Right from the start, Melindo attacked Sakkreerin with accurate punches and combinations and kept on coming forward. He seemed to have studied Sakkreerin’s movements well enough as he managed to evade the Thai boxer’s counter punches for the better part of the night. Save for a stiff right that Sakkreerin dealt Melindo in the fourth round and sent him nearly staggering, Melindo prevailed in most of the first six rounds.

Interesting rounds – 7 and 8

Rounds 7 and 8 were interesting rounds basing on the manner in which the two boxers went at each other. In the 7th round, Melindo descended on Sakkreerin with a flurry of punches which sent the Thai sportsman to the ropes and had him wobbling on his feet by the time the round was ending.

Following his humiliation in the hands of Melindo in round 7, Sakkreerin came into round 8 with a whole new aggression. He had El Metodico struggling to be on his feet for a good while but the Filipino finally managed to steady himself and respond with counters.

The last rounds of the match

Round 9 was Melindo’s. He let out a sharp counter hook that stunnef his opponent. Rounds 10 and 11 however went in Sakkreerin’s favor has he had more and better-aimed punches. Melindo returned to win the 12th round with a couple of counter shots that sent Sakkreerin staggering. He was then declared a winner by unanimous decision when the fight was signalled to a stop.

Melindo on his win

Milan Melindo (34-2, 12KOs) was happy with his Saturday night Pinoy Pride 39 win. He thanked fans at the end of the match saying he wouldn’t have made it the far he had made if it weren’t for their support. He also told reporters that he had had to change tactics midway so as to protect his nose which had been cut by a shot from Sakkreerin. He also admitted that Sakkreerin had given him pressure throughout the match and that he had survived it with the help of conditioning training from Pio Solon.

Next fight

It had been determined prior to the match that the winner between Melindo and Sakkreerin’s battle will face Japan’s Akira Yaegashi. If things remain as scheduled then the Cagayan de Oro native will face the Japanese junior flyweight ace possibly in mid 2017.

This was Milendo’s only successful stub at a world title after unsuccessfully trying against Mexico’s Juan Francisco Estrada in 2013 and another Mexican Javier Mendoza in 2015.

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