MELINDO WINS IBF 108LB INTERIM BELT


November 26, 2016

CEBU, PHILIPPINES

Aggressive Filipino perennial contender Milan Melindo (35-2, 12 KOs), 108, finally acquired the IBF interim junior flyweight belt as he kept stalking fleet-footed Thailander Fahlan Sakkreerin Jr. (31-5-1, 16 KOs), 107.5, took the initiative in middle rounds and withstood his rivalfs last surge to be awarded a close but unanimous decision (115-113 twice and 117-111) on Saturday in Cebu, Philippines. The first half was a very close affair with Fahlan making good use of faster jabs and footwork and Melindo patiently going forward to connect some right shots. The tide turned in round seven, when Melindo, four inches shorter than the 5f6h Fahlan, became aggressive with a barrage of punches, pinning him to the ropes. The Filipino, who had failed to win the world belt from Juan Francisco Estrada and Javier Mendoza, also controlled the eighth and ninth rounds with solid combinations to the elusive footworker. Fahlan, however, showed a furious retaliation in the tenth, when he connected with light but fast combos to the face and the midsection. The Thailander, five years his junior at 23, maintained his aggressiveness in the last two sessions, but Melindo showed his heart to endure his last surge and kept his lead on points in earlier rounds. The newly crowned interim titlist is supposed to face regular IBF junior flyweight champ Akira Yaegashi of Japan, a veteran three-class champ who has recovered from his shoulder injury, in their next title contest. The referee was Kenny Chevalier who moved well.

Undercard:

WBO #1 junior welter Jason Pagara (40-2, 25 KOs), 146.5, collected another victim in ex-WBA lightweight champ Jose Alfaro (28-11-1, 24 KOs), 146.5, whom he impressively sank with a single body shot to the liver for the count at 2:59 of the first round in a scheduled ten.

His younger brother Albert Pagara (26-1, 18 KOs), 126, earned a nearly shutout decision (all 99-91) over durable and game Raymond Commey (16-4, 9 KOs), 129, over ten. Itfs Albertfs first appearance since he suffered his career-first defeat at the hand of Cesar Juarez in California this July.

Promoter: ALA Promotions.

(11-26-2016)


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