Melindo first decked Vega with a right uppercut. A groggy Vega beat the mandatory 10-count of referee Bruce McTavish only to be floored again with a left hook by Melindo.
Vega this time failed to beat the referee's count, ending the fight at the 2:59 mark of the first.
ALA Gym's trainer Edito Villamor said Melindo followed their gameplan to the letter.
“The plan really was to get Vega with an uppercut. We studied his style and we noticed that he always ducks, which is very vulnerable to an uppercut,” said Villamor.
Banal, meanwhile, bucked a glaring height and reach advantage to beat Francis Miyeyusho of Tanzania.
Banal, who improved to 24-1 (win-loss) with 19 knockouts, bombarded Miyeyusho with solid combinations to the head and body and floored the taller Tanzanian thrice in the second round to retain his WBO Asia-Pacific bantamweight title.
“I had a hard time in the opening round because of his height and reach advantage. But I sensed I hurt him in the second round so I just continued attacking him,” said Banal.
The East African was on one knee when referee Danrex Tapdasan reached the ten count at the 2:02 of the third.
Banal said he went into the fight gunning no less than an impressive win after his last fight against Luis Alberto Perez ended on a controversial fashion.
A dazed Banal snatched the win in the seventh round after the Nicaraguan threw an illegal punch that sent Banal crashing to the floor.
“I really wanted to come up with an impressive victory and I still have what it takes to win big,” said Banal.
Another ALA Gym stalwart, Rocky Fuentes, scored a unanimous win over pesky Indonesian Jemmy Gobel.
The fight saw excessive holding from Gobel, whose antics cost him point deductions in the second and eighth rounds. The three judges saw it at 80-70, all for Fuentes.
Romeo Jakosalem of Cagayan de Oro City showed tremendous fighting spirit in pulling off a TKO win over the erstwhile undefeated Canadian boxer Steve Claggett.
The crowd-favorite Claggett seemed poised to snatching a victory when he downed Jakosalem twice in the third round.
Although bothered by a bleeding nose, Claggett still had the fight under control until the eighth and final round.
Jakosalem simply refused to go away and peppered Clagget with torrid punches. Jakosalem pinned the Canadian boxer to the ropes before referee Teddy Alivio decided to halt the fight at the 1:28 mark.
There was a smattering of boos from the crowd, who thought the stoppage was premature as the Canadian was still on his feet.
Alivio said after the fight that he saw Claggett’s eyes were glassy and was not fighting back. “My job is to protect the boxer’s life.” Alivio said.
Claggett was on unsteady legs after the bout and was attended to by medical personnel at ringside.
The lone foreigner to score a victory was Japan's Kenichi Yamaguchi, who needed eight rounds to defeat Marjun Yap. Scores were 75-76, 77-74, 77-74.
Three promising ALA boxers also scored impressive wins. Albert Pagara came up with a first round TKO over Pablo Rey Seneres, Boyce Sultan scored a second round knockout over Francis Solis and Roma Rate pulled off a first round TKO win over Camilo Rey Seneres. --Inquirer--