Eight-division world champion Manny Pacquiao will be at special ringside when undefeated mandatory challenger Milan Melindo battles Juan Francisco Estrada of Mexico for the World Boxing Organization flyweight title at the plush Cotai Arena of the Venetian Resort Hotel & Casino in Macau, China.
Estrada won the title from WBO/World Boxing Association champion Brian Viloria last April 6.
Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz informed the Manila Standard that the final details were worked out between him and Top Rank promoter Bob Arum.
Koncz said Pacquiao and Brandon Rios, his opponent in his return to the ring after his sixth-round knockout at the hands of Juan Manuel Marquez, will be in Macau on the eve of the Melindo-Estrada title showdown and will have a meet-and-greet with top executives of the Venetian, and then attend the fight card promoted by Top Rank in the evening.
ALA Promotions’ president Michael Aldeguer welcomed the news of Pacquiao’s presence at the Macau fight card.
“This is definitely good news and will be a big boost for the fight,” said Aldeguer, conceding it will “put pressure on Melindo to perform well and all of us.”
The fight card will be telecast by ABS-CBN on July 28 at 10 a.m.
However, Aldeguer said Melindo is “focused because this is what he’s been waiting for although he knows its going to be a tough fight.”
He added Melindo’s strength and conditioning is being handled by Pio Solon and Abet Biagan of the Philippine Team. They realized that in the Viloria fight, Estrada appeared to get stronger as the fight progressed.
Pacquiao and Rios will hold a 1 p.m. press conference on July 28 after which they will fly to China in the late afternoon for a swing through three of its biggest cities, with press conferences in Guangzhou on July 29, Beijing on July 30 and Shanghai on July 31. They then fly to New York for a two-city media blitz.
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