Filipino top tier boxers have been in the losing column recently. Manny Pacquiao, Nonito Donaire and Brian Viloria suffered their respective losses. They need to win on their next fight to pick-up what they left before they were defeated—especially Pacquiao, which is in a make-or-break fight against Brandon Rios on November in Macau, China. Pacquiao 54-5-2 (KO 38) even if will get past Rios 31-1-1 (KO 23), has few fights left in him before he will finally decide to retire and end his stellar career in boxing.
The question now is who will be next possible frontier in Philippine boxing landscape?
Here are my top three prospect, under 30 years’ old, undefeated Filipino boxers that could become the leading edge in Philippine boxing and perhaps can emulate the achievement of the Filipino boxing icon.
Milan Melindo 29-0 (KO 12) – is the Transnational Boxing Ranking Board’s (TBRB) rank number 8 flyweight. The 25 years old from Southern Philippines is a savvy tactician in the ring. Although not known as a power puncher, Melindo is noted for his methodical approach. He knows basics and throws a lot of combinations during exchanges. He is coming from a fourth round TKO win against tough Indonesian Tommy Seran on April 6 in Macau, China. He is scheduled to fight against WBO and WBA flyweight titlist Juan Francisco Estrada also in Macau, China on July 27.
Merlito Sabillo 21-0 (KO 11) – is undefeated 29 years old and TBRB’s rank number 10 at the straw weight division. He is a heavy handed southpaw who stopped his Columbian challenger Luis de la Rosa with a single punch. He will headline Pinoy Prides’ 21’st edition on July 13 at the luxurious Solaire Resort and Casino in Manila to defend his WBO title.
Arthur Villanueva 22-0 (KO 12) – is only 24 years old and had the OPBF title in his resume. He is TBRB’s rank number 10 in the junior bantamweight division. Villanueva is a tough fighter. You will admire his precise counter-punching during exchanges. At 5-feet 5-inches tall he seemed to have the height advantage in this division. And he is able to use this advantage to maintain a comfortable distance to throw punches but out-of-range from opponents counter. He will co-feature the Pinoy Pride 21’st series on July 13 against Mexico’s Arturo “Fuerte” Badillo, a heavy puncher who has 19 knockouts out of his 21 wins.