Milan Melindo’s road to becoming a world champion was never easy
Even as one of the perennial contenders in his division, clinching gold had remained elusive for Melindo (36-2, 13KO) For someone who’s given everything to achieve it, the stinging feeling of defeat was never lost in him.
Then he realized that he cannot do it alone.
It was not a change of sparring partners or regimen. Rather, it was a change of “coach”, a mentor that guided him both inside and outside of the squared circle.
Nearly a year since renewing his faith, the 29-year-old admitted that a lot has changed since he turned pro back in 2005.
According to him, his rekindled belief has gave him a sense of direction that led a positive effect on him.
“It’s amazing kasi yung mga galaw ko sa ibabaw ng ring, ibang-iba compared sa mga past na laban ko,” Melindo shared with Tiebreaker Times.
“Nung nag-rely (ulit) ako kay God, parang in-enhance pa Niya ako.”
Known as “El Metodico” in the squared circle for his scientific approach to his fights, Melindo was able to knock down then-champion Akira Yaegashi thrice to clinch the title in front of a partisan crowd last May.
But he believes that it wasn’t because of his own will. In fact, he admitted that even before the bell had rung, he was overwhelmed by the hometown support of the Japanese.
“I asked God na samahan Niya ako sa pakikipaglaban kasi na-intimidate ako sa mga tao dun, sa mga fans ni Yaegashi. Nung pag akyat niya nakita ko may bandana pa sa noo then ang ingay pa ng crowd. Halos lahat ng support nasa kalaban ko,” he recalled of the moment which he described as if he was like floating in the air.
Now in his first reign as the IBF World Light Flyweight champion, Melindo remains humble and hungry. But more than the championships, he wants his life be a positive example to the people around him.
“Through fighting, pinakita ko lang kung anong abilidad na meron kang Panginoon,” the resident of Cebu City said. “Yung ability mo na hanggang diyan ka lang, ine-enhance niya lalo. If you rely on yourself only, your abilities have limitations.
“But if you have God in your life, unlimited dahil Siya yung gumawa satin. If you rely on Him, He will bless you.”