Bautista, Melindo face Thais in Dubai

Three Filipino fighters will be putting their wares on display later in a card dubbed “Philippines versus The Rest of the World.” “Rest of the world” should be used loosely here as the Filipinos’ opponents only come from two counties, Thailand and Tanzania.

ALA boys Milan Melindo, Boomboom Bautista, and Larry Canillas are featured in the card that will be held at the Lodge, Chi Garden, in Dubai.

Melindo (25-0-0, 5 KOs) was scheduled to fight Devis Perez of Columbia but he could not get to Dubai in time for the fight due to the backlog of cancelled flights in Europe. Melindo will instead fight Komrit Twins Gym of Thailand. Perez has a record of 12 wins against a single loss. Komrit Twins Gym, the late substitute, has a record of 15 wins and three losses. However, he has not fought since being knocked out in a single round by AJ Banal way back in 2007.

Bautista (27-2-0, 20 KOs) will battle Saichon Sotornpitak (10-1-0, 5KOs). This will be Bautista’s second fight after coming from a very long layoff due to an operation in his wrist. Bautista, who used to be called the next Manny Pacquiao, is still struggling to get back into the lofty position in the rankings he once held before getting obliterated by Daniel Ponce de Leon. Although it is understandable why he’d take on a virtual unknown fighter in Sotornpitak (who is coming off a loss, to make matter worse), Bautista must take a big step in the quality of his opponents for his next fights if he wishes to contend for a world title again.

Canillas (9-2-0, 8 KOs) is the least known among the three and he’ll go up against Fred Sayuni (6-3-4, 3 KOs) (wow, four draws in 13 professional fights). I’ve never seen Canillas fight but judging by his KO percentage, this guy can punch, and because African fighters are normally have good chins, this fight could be a pretty good scrap.

The Filipinos should have no problem winning all the fights. I expect Melindo to win a very wide unanimous decision (I wouldn’t be surprised with a shutout), Bautista should win via late knockout, and Canillas, I think, will win via close decision or a late knockout.

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