By Dennis Principe
Former Philippine national amateur standout Mark Jason Melligen has taken one huge step, at least on the business side of his career, in making his much-awaited debut in the United States. Thursday in Las Vegas, Melligen and US benefactor Tony Martin met with Bob Arum inside his Top Rank office and discussed the Filipino’s first fight in the United States. In an interview with this writer, Martin said Arum stated during their meeting about his willingness to help Melligen get in getting a fight next month.
Martin said Arum will most likely include Melligen in an 8-round non title welterweight fight in Top Rank’s March 7 card either in Las Vegas or Denver, Colorado. Melligen’s foe will soon be determined as he, along with Martin, will meet again with Arum sometime next week.
October of last year Melligen along with stablemate Michael Domingo flew to Las Vegas where their Filipino promoter Tony Aldeguer set up a training camp for their fighters.
Domingo however had to fly back as he was scrapped from a November fight card in California after testing positive for Hepatitis-B. Domingo however is now cleared to fight after passing several medical tests here in the Philippines.
Domingo however got a medical clearance and is in fact scheduled to battle compatriot Monico Laurente on March 14 in a major card to be staged at the Waterfront Hotel in Cebu.
Headlining the card is Z “The Dream” Gorres and Milan “El Maestro” Melindo who will go up against former world champions Robert Leyva of Mexico and Indon Muhammad Rachman, respectively.
Melligen, 22, holds an impressive record of 12-1 with 9 knockouts. He is currently training at Roger Mayweather’s gym in Las Vegas. Mayweather is the uncle of the now-retired former pound-for-pound kingpin Floyd Mayweather, Jr.