By Nick Giongco
Top Rank chief Bob Arum will put rising Filipino super lightweight Mark Jason Melligen underneath the Aug.15 headliner at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, the Hall of Fame promoter told Fightnews and Manila Bulletin on Monday. “Melligen is a terrific fighter and his next fight will be on the Aug.15 card,” said Arum, who will bankroll the card being starred by another Filipino flyweight phenom, Nonito Donaire. Arum said one or two other Filipinos will see action on the same night, including Bernabe Concepcion, who finally earns a crack at the Steven Luevano’s featherweight crown.
Nicknamed “MJM Grand,” Melligen scored a two round demolition of Fabian Luque of Mexico last Saturday in the scenic Mexican city of Ensenada in Baja California, to raise his record to (15-1, 11 KOs). Melligen, a protégé of the father-and-son tandem of Antonio and Michael Aldeguer of Cebu City, has boxed a total of 74 rounds since turning professional in 2006 after a sterling amateur career.
Born in Bacolod City, Melligen has been based in Cebu since hooking up with the Aldeguers, whose boxing gym has produced world class talents through the years. Melligen’s conquest of Luque was his fifth outing on foreign soil, having seen action as well in Seoul, Melbourne, Colorado and Nevada. Melligen’s only loss was a stoppage by Korean Kim Yong-Sung in his seventh pro fight. Since the defeat, Melligen has racked up nine straight victories, including five within the distance. Against Luque, Melligen received pointers in the corner from two time world title challenger Ala Villamor and former Cebu resident Tony Martin who served as cut man.