Milan “Milenyo” Melindo of Cagayan de Oro City won by a close but unanimous ten round decision over Anthony “Baby Assassin” Villareal of the U.S. in front of a sell out crowd at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City Thursday night.
Melindo (20W-0L, 5 KO’s) jumped on Villareal at the opening bell and scored a knockdown with his right hook. Villareal got up and tried to keep a safe distance by moving and jabbing.
The American found his range in the third and landed one-two combos but Melindo closed the distance and landed hard shots at the end of the round. In the 4th the shorter Melindo scored repeatedly with his jab and a right hook staggered Villareal again. Melindo continued to invest in body shots but Villareal was still standing and countered effectively.
In the fifth, Villareal tried to give Melindo different looks by switching to southpaw. Villareal continued to box from a distance but Melindo managed to cut off the ring. But the ALA gym fighter missed a lot of shots as Villareal was very slippery.
In a breathtaking seventh round, the fighters traded wicked hooks as Melindo landed rib rattling punches. Melindo landed the harder blows in the 8th and 9th but in a nail biting tenth round, Villareal hurt Melindo and pressed the initiative until the final bell.
In the co-main event, AJ “Bazooka” Banal of Ermita, Cebu City knocked out Cecilio “Boga” Santos of Mexico in the fourth round.
The southpaw Banal was tentative in the opening round but started to find his range in the second and third rounds landing hard shots. He landed a powerful left to the temple in the 4th round that staggered Santos and Banal flowed up with a furious volley. The Mexican was counted out in 35 second mark of the 4th round.