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Javier Mendoza defends title with technical decision over Milan Melindo

Fighters Network
Photo: Zanfer Promotions

Photo: Zanfer Promotions

IBF junior flyweight titleholder Javier Mendoza made the first successful defense of his title on Saturday, winning a six-round technical decision over Filipino boxer Milan Melindo in Ensenada, Mexico.

The fight was stopped in Round 6 after both men became cut due to head clashes, with Mendoza’s laceration being the more serious of the two. Two judges scored the fight 60-52 for Mendoza, while the third had it 59-53, also for Mendoza.

The fight was marred by headbutts from Round 1, with Melindo (32-2, 12 knockouts) rocking the incumbent champion early with a head clash.

Melindo landed the more effective blows in that round but Mendoza (24-2-1, 19 KOs) acquitted himself well the following stanza, taking the initiative with straight left crosses against Melindo.

Mendoza’s power advantage helped him carry the fight as he landed effectively with body punching in the third and fourth rounds. Melindo had strayed low repeatedly throughout the fight and lost a point for low blows in Round 5.

The loss sets the 27-year-old Melindo of Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines, back, as he had won three straight fights to become the mandatory challenger at 108 pounds. His only previous defeat came against unified flyweight champion Juan Francisco Estrada in 2013.

Mendoza, 24, of Tijuana, Mexico won the title last September with a unanimous decision over Ramon Garcia Hirales.