Ryan Songalia

Estrada-Melindo, Servania confirmed for July 27 in Macau

MANILA – ALA Promotions vice president Dennis Canete confirmed that Filipino junior featherweight prospect Genesis Servania will see action in a ten-round bout underneath the second professional outing of two-time Olympic gold medalist Zou Shiming on July 27 at the Venetian Casino & Resort in Macau. The show will be promoted by Top Rank.

The 21-year-old Servania (19-0, 7 KOs) of Bacolod City, Philippines, has defeated three former world title challengers (Gerson Guerrero, Genaro Garcia, and Angky Angkotta) since turning pro in 2009. No opponent has been finalized for Servania, but Canete says the opponent will likely be from Japan with the WBO Asia Pacific regional title at stake.

Servania must first get past Indonesian Isack Junior (20-3-2, 8 KOs) in a ten-round tuneup on May 25 at the Waterfront Hotel & Casino in Cebu City, Philippines. Junior has lost his previous two bouts, including an eighth-round knockout to Japan-based Filipino Wars Katsumata in his last bout.

Also in Macau, WBO/WBA flyweight titleholder Juan Francisco Estrada (24-2, 18 KOs) of Sonora, Mexico, will make his first defense of the unified title against Servania’s stablemate Milan Melindo (29-0, 12 KOs) of Cagayan de Oro, Philippines. Estrada, 23, won the titles a month ago with an upset victory over Brian Viloria in Macau.

Melindo, 25, fought on the undercard of that show, knocking out Indonesian Tommy Seran in four rounds. Afterwards, Melindo pulled up a ringside seat to scout the competition.

“He was focused on Estrada. He kept telling me how to beat Estrada, what’s his style.” said Canete, who added that Melindo is already in training in Cebu with Edito “Ala” Villamor in preparation for what is by far the toughest test of his eight-year career.

IBF featherweight titleholder Evgeny Gradovich (16-0, 8 KOs) of Oxnard, Calif., by way of Russia will also be making the first defense of his title, facing off with Mauricio Javier Munoz (26-3, 12 KOs) of Argentina. Gradovich, 26, won the title by split-decision over Billy Dib in March after taking the bout on short notice.

Top Rank’s last Macau venture on April 6 was a runaway success, with a reported 300 million households in China tuning in to witness Shiming’s pro debut against Eleazar Valenzuela. The card was also televised by HBO2 in America, and ABS-CBN in the Philippines.

ABS-CBN will televise this card as well, said Canete.

Ryan Songalia is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) and contributes to The Ring magazine and GMA News. He can be reached at ryan@ryansongalia.com. An archive of his work can be found
at www.ryansongalia.com. Follow him on Twitter: @RyanSongalia.


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