Another bloody but exciting chapter in the Philippines-Mexico boxing rivalry unfolds this Saturday when three visiting Mexican fighters battle three of ALA Gym’s finest in the Pinoy Pride 8: Philippines vs Mexico.
And yesterday’s final press conference at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino dripped with sabre rattling among the main protagonists.
Milan Melindo, the thinking man’s pocket warrior did not need any coaxing when it comes to throwing verbal jabs against his nemesis Francisco “Chiquita” Rosas.
When asked about Rosas’ statement last Tuesday that he was not impressed with the unbeaten Filipino’s record, Melindo replied, “It’s true we should not base a fighter’s ability on his record, but he has never faced a boxer like me.”
Rosas was more subdued yesterday. “I believe that Melindo is good, very good but I will give him a good fight.” Rosas, who brought along his WBC Hispanic title belt, will be fighting Melindo in the 12-round main event for the WBO Intercontinental flyweight title.
MELINDO HUNGRY FOR A WORLD TITLE
“The three Mexican fighters are good. They came here to win,” Melindo said. “I predict a knockout, it will come and the people will enjoy this fight. I want a world title fight, I am ready.”
Melindo has been tagged as a future world champion after beating former champs Muhamad Rachman and Carlos Tamara. But ALA Promotions CEO Michael Aldeguer said that staging a world title fight here for Milan will be difficult because of his reputation.
Meanwhile, Jason “El Niño” Pagara said it was the least of his concerns if his Mexican opponent Rosbel Montoya indeed has twice the number of bouts compared to what is reflected in boxrec.
“I am not afraid,” Pagara replied. “I am well prepared. I can knock him out in any round.”
To which Montoya retorted, “We’ll see who gets knocked out.”
Michael Lopez, who acts as Spanish interpreter and cornerman for visiting Latino boxers, predicts a “Hagler vs. Hearns type of fight” for the Pagara-Montoya match for the WBO Youth jr.welterweight crown.
“Someone will surely get knocked out,” Lopez said.
The third Mexican fighter Gerson Guerrero, who will face Genesis Servania, has also fought world champions. “I fought a lot of tough fighters, Mauricio Pastrana was very strong, but Daniel Ponce de Leon was the strongest I faced. I had De Leon in trouble in the opening round but I let it slip away.”
When Servania was asked about Guerrero’s earlier statement that the more experienced Mexican will teach him a boxing lesson, Servania replied, “I will take that as a challenge because I will also teach him a lesson and show him how to knock out an opponent.”
Also attending the presscon were ALA Gym trainers Joseph Baldago and Edito Villamor and Mexican cornermen Herminio Ramirez and Magdaleno Montoya.
The official weigh-in will be held at 11 a.m. today at SM City Cebu while fight day is on Saturday at the Pacific Ballroom of the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. /Correspondents Rene Bonsubre Jr. and Salven Lagumbay