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Underdog Boxing: Hoping for Viloria versus Melindo

November 22, 2012 4:40pm
As a fan of the sweet science, I long to see a match where unified WBA and WBO champion Brian Viloria (32-3-0, 19 KOs) defends his titles against Milan ‘El Metodico’ Melindo (28-0-0, 11 KOs), here in the Philippines. It’s an unpopular opinion, I know, but it’s a fight I really want to see.

Filipino fight fans have come to accept that our own fighters should not be facing each other. Filipino fighters who are billed as world championship hopefuls should not be put in the same ring against one another so that their chances of climbing up the rankings won’t take a hit. The logic is that more Filipino boxers with good records will mean that we can have more world champions.

In the case of Viloria, the decision, some people say, should be fairly easy. Relinquish the WBO belt, allow Milan Melindo and Froilan Saludar to fight for it, and keep the WBA belt. Huwag kang madamot. May matitira pa namang isa. Some have gone so far as to say that Viloria will be respected more if he does this ‘thoughtful’ gesture.

This is the first time in almost fifty years that a unified flyweight champion was crowned, do you really think Viloria will just give it up to make some people happy?

Melindo fought his way to become the WBO’s number one contender. The 24-year-old fighter from the famed ALA Boxing stable also owns the fifth spot in Ring Magazine’s list of the best flyweights in boxing. If he’s to win the title, I’m sure he would rather do it against THE best flyweight in the land, and not against another contender, for a title that was vacated. If people think they are doing Melindo a favor by pressuring Viloria into relinquishing the WBO title, they are mistaken.

It’s about time that we understood that ultimately, boxing is not about country. It’s about two men trying to prove who the better fighter is in the ring. If fighters refused to take on each other just because they held the same passport, then boxing would be incredibly boring.

Can you imagine if Marco Antonio Barrera and Erik Morales decided they could just hold on to a couple of belts in the same division without ever fighting each other? Or if Rafael Marquez and Israel Vazquez felt it would be best to face lesser challengers from other countries instead of beating each other up into bloody pulps in four epic fights? How could Koki Kameda capture the attention of the Japanese boxing fans if Daisuke Naito refused to defend his WBC flyweight title against him?

In a perfect world, boxing pits the best against the best, no matter what the color of their skin is or what passport they hold. Roy Jones Jr. would have turned out into a different fighter if he didn’t fight Bernard Hopkins and James Toney early in his career. Manny Pacquiao could have not gotten to where he is now if he didn’t beat Reynante Jamili.

I understand the logic against this. I understand that some people think that having a ton of world champions is what’s best for Philippine boxing. But if you ask me, I’d rather have two or three Filipino world champions reigning for a long time and dominating their divisions rather than 10 world champions who will lose their title belts in their first or second title defense. And right now, I’m deeply proud of the fact that we have two unified champions, a rare occurrence in boxing

I have no idea what Viloria wants. For all I know, he could be really leaning towards relinquishing the WBO title and facing Roman Gonzales. However, what’s important is that we leave the decision to him. He earned his titles and what he does with these titles should be entirely up to him - AMD, GMA News
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