Filipino flyweight Milan Melindo kept his World Boxing Organization international flyweight title after scoring a majority decision over Venezuelan challenger Jean Piero Perez on Saturday night in Cebu City.
Fighting inside a jam-packed Waterfront Hotel & Casino, Melindo overcame a deep cut below his left eyebrow he sustained in the eighth round of the match to dispatch his tough opponent.
Judge Edward Ligas scored the bout 116-112 and judge Tony Persons had it 115-113 both in favor of Melindo, while veteran Filipino judge saw it as 114-114, enabling Melindo to escape with the close victory.
Showing a lot of aggressiveness and sheer determination right from the opening round, Melindo asserted his will and connected on powerful body punches, but the tables seemed to have been reversed in the eighth round.
Perez had the eighth round as his best round as he connected on several power punches that opened up a nasty cut below the left eyebrow of his Filipino, which forced referee Brush McTavish to order the medical staff to take a lot at Melindo’s cut.
Luckily, the severity of the cut was not enough for a fight stoppage as Melindo bravely fought for the remaining four rounds and showed a lot of guts despite virtually fighting with just an eye.
With the win, Melindo, who admitted after the fight the he became too confident, improved his record to 28-0 with 11 of it coming by way of knockout and lined himself for bigger tune-up bouts before taking a crack at a world title.
Meanwhile, in the main undercard of the Pinoy Pride XVI fight card, Rocky “Road Warrior” Fuentes also kept his Oriental and Pacific Boxing Federation flyweight title after hammering out a convincing unanimous decision win over Japanese Hyung Ho Lee.
Fuentes was the aggressor all throughout the fight, which led to him getting the nod of all three judges, 117-111, 117-112, and 116-12 for a comfortable victory.