Milan Melindo’s camp wants to make sure the reigning world light-flyweight champion will be well-prepared for his title unification bout against Japanese champion Ryoichi Taguchi.
Taguchi is at least 3 inches taller than Melindo, which is why coach Edito “Ala” Villamor wants Melindo to be accustomed to fighting an opponent of similar height.
“Matangkad ito kay Milan, mga 5-foot-5 and a half. So naghahanap na kami ng sparring partner na matangkad para masanay siya,” said Villamor.
Melindo, the IBF belt holder, and his team will fly to Tokyo to challenge Taguchi for his WBA title on New Year’s Eve.
Villamor said it will be a tough fight for “El Metodico” but he said Melindo wants to topple all champions, including Taguchi.
“Magaling itong Hapon. Grabe sila kasi from 105 pounds hanggang bantamweight puro Japanese ang kampeon,” Villamor said.
Melindo is coming off a controversial split decision win over South Africa’s Hekkie Budler last September.
The IBF ordered a rematch after Budler’s camp complained that Melindo’s corner was allowed to work on the boxer’s cut during a referee’s timeout.
But the Filipino will be allowed to figure in a title unification bout provided that Budler will get the first crack at the winner of the unification fight.
“Kalimutan na muna natin si Budler. Uunahin muna namin si Taguchi,” he said.
Melino’s camp is already taking notes on Taguchi’s fights.
“Kelangan tingnan namin ang tendencies niya mga mistakes niya. Sa ngayon humihingi kami ng video tapes, may nakita na kami sa YouTube, ineensayo na namin ng maiigi,” he said.
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