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Cebu City, Philippines – ALA Promotions president and CEO Michael Aldeguer has formally launched Pinoy Pride 8: Philippines vs. Mexico at a press conference at the Cebu Grand Hotel earlier today. The affable Aldeguer said he is elated with the promising card to be headlined by undefeated boxing genius Milan “Method Man” Melindo (24-0, 8 KOs), young gun Jason Pagara (27-1, 17 KOs) and unbeaten hot prospect Genesis Servania (14-0, 5KOs) against three Mexican prizefighters. Pinoy Pride 8: Philippines vs Mexico will be held on September 10th, 2011 here in Cebu City.

This has never been done before,” Aldeguer told the press referring to bringing three Mexicans in the same card. “This is ground-breaking.”

Melindo, who has already faced and beaten a string of world-class opponents, will try to boost his confidence and get a chance to hone his pugilistic skills against Francisco Rosas (22-8-2, 12 KOs) for the vacant WBO Intercontinental championship.

Rosas, who hails from Oaxaca, Mexico, has shared the ring with several Mexican big names including undefeated WBA light flyweight champion Roman Gonzalez, world title contender Omar Soto, ex-WBC light flyweight title holder Edgar Sosa, and WBA interim light flyweight titlist Juan Carlos Reveco.

(Left to right) Jason Pagara, Milan Melindo, and Genesis Servania

While many boxing experts feel that Melindo is already ripe for a world title shot, Aldeguer feels that there is still a need for Melindo to be really tempered to reach his full potentials, but also hinted that a crack at the title is not that far in the future.

There were so many talks we had in the past in getting Milan a title bout,” Aldeguer told the press. “But they failed to materialize.”

Quizzed about his upcoming match, Melindo told the sports media that he will not take his opponent for granted, citing their preference to “attack the body and their warrior mentality.”

Youthful Pagara will go and match up with hard-hitting Rosbel Montoya (12-2-1, 11 KOs) of Taumalipa, Mexico. Aldeguer describes that pairing as a risky venture for Pagara, but one that should reward the Cagayan de Oro native handsomely if he can put on a good performance.

Unknown Servania will be pitted against Gerson Guerrero (34-8, 26 KOs) of Mexico City. A former world title challenger, Guerrero fought and lost to ex-world champion Daniel Ponce de Leon and undefeated Russian fighter Alexander Bahktin. Guerrero was slated to fight Filipino superstar Nonito Donaire, Jr. in February 2010 but was replaced by Manuel “Chango” Vargas when the former failed an eye exam.

Looking at the lineup, media men present concurred that the protagonists in Pinoy Pride 8 are facing very serious competition.

Aldeguer said that the only way to test their fighters is “to give them tough opponents.”

A title fight with Viloria

Melindo is currently ranked by the WBO as the #5 flyweight contender, which places him in a good position to challenge the organization’s current flyweight champion Brian Viloria for the crown. But Melindo prefers to face former WBO light flyweight titlist Giovanni Segura instead.

I want Segura. He has an aggressive style that suits my approach,” Melindo said. “And he is also more popular than me.”

But a bout with Viloria is possibility, according to Aldeguer.

I do not want to pit two Filipinos against each other. But if the WBO orders it, well, what can we do?”

Photo credits: Carlos Costa

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Kenneth P. Ragpala is an award-winning sports blogger who has been covering the sport of boxing since 2008. His works have appeared in local newspapers in his home city in Cagayan de Oro and in several online publications abroad. Ragpala has written for several boxing websites, namely Fight Hype, 8 Count News, and Bleacher Report.