Monday, March 27, 2023  |


Javier Mendoza will defend against Milan Melindo on April 25

Milan Melindo during his fight against Juan Francisco Estrada in 2013. Photo: AFP/Getty.

Milan Melindo during his fight against Juan Francisco Estrada in 2013. Photo: AFP/Getty.


MANILA, Philippines – Milan Melindo will get his second crack at a world title when he faces IBF junior flyweight titleholder Javier Mendoza in Tijuana, Mexico, on April 25.

Melindo’s promoter, Michael Aldeguer of ALA Boxing, tells that he and Mendoza’s promoter, Zanfer Promotions, have “agreed in principle” though a contract has yet to be signed.

Melindo (32-1, 12 knockouts) of Cagayan de Oro, Philippines, became the mandatory challenger after stepping down from 112 pounds and defeating Saul Juarez in a title elimination bout last November.

He has now won three straight since losing to WBA/WBO flyweight titleholder Juan Francisco Estrada in July of 2013 by unanimous decision. Melindo, 26, started the Estrada bout strongly before being worn down by the larger Mexican and barely surviving to the final bell.

Last September the 23-year-old Mendoza (23-2-1, 19 KOs) won the title that was vacated by Melindo’s countryman, Johnriel Casimero, when he missed weight. Mendoza hasn’t lost since being stopped in two rounds by Jorge Guerrero in 2011.

“[Mendoza is] a typical Mexican boxer, he comes to fight,” said Aldeguer. “It’s a good chance for Milan. It will be good for Milan fighting in Mexico and hopefully winning the title there.”

Melindo is currently at No. 6 in THE RING Magazine’s 108-pound rantings. He and several fighters from his stable, including the recently triumphant Jason Pagara, will leave the Philippines to train in the United States on March 29, the day after stablemate and RING junior flyweight champion Donnie Nietes defends against Luis Ceja in Pasay City, Philippines.

Ryan Songalia is the sports editor of Rappler, a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and a contributor to THE RING Magazine. He can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.