Melindo struggles to make weight
Still pumped up to defend his IBF title against IBO champ Budler tonight
It took him almost two hours to shed off extra poundage that nearly cost him his belt.
Physically drained as he may seem, his mental focus is still intact. His confidence stays at its highest level. His desire to protect his throne and put on a show before his hometown fans never wavered.
After a hard grind on the scales, Milan 'El Metodico' Melindo (36-2, 13KOs) remains upbeat and is all pumped up to defend his IBF light flyweight title against the reigning IBO 108-pound king Hekkie ‘Hexecutioner’ Budler (31-2, 10KOs) of South Africa in a highlyanticipated showdown of world champions headlining the ‘Pinoy Pride 42: Clash for Glory’ tonight at the Pacific grand ballroom of WaterfrontCebu City Hotel & Casino.
Trouble set in early for Melindo, who had a difficulty making weight during the official weigh-in yesterday at The Events Centre of SM City Cebu.
After going 1.4 pounds over the regulatory weight limit of 108 lbs. during his first attempt, the already exhausted Melindo was given two hours by the IBF to get the weight or be stripped of his title. After some time on the steam room, he eventually took out his excess baggage.
"I just prayed to God that I will get the weight,” said the Melindo, who shrugged off the idea that his performance for tonight will be affected by the grueling weight cut. “Nothing has changed. I am still confident for tomorrow’s (today) fight. I just need to recover my strength.”
“My legacy is at stake here. I won’t waste this chance to prove that I am a legitimate world champion. I will keep that belt,” assure thre fighting pride of Cagayan de Oro City.
In sharp contrast, Budler easily tipped in the scales at exactly 108 pounds. He believes that that will work to his advantage over the Filipino champ.
So ready is the South African visitor to bring the fight to Melindo that warned the ALA boxer to prepare himself for his bell-to-bell duel.
“What happened there (in the weigh-in) just showed who among the two of us is more prepared. Unlike him, I am very fit and I can even go 20 rounds,” said Budler. “I flew halfway around the world just to challenge for the championship and I am very serious in taking it home to South Africa.”
ALA Promotions President and CEO Michael Aldeguer admitted that he was baffled after seeing Melindo having a hard time making weight.
“Honestly, I was surprised,” said Aldeguer. “It’s now on his (Melindo) hands on how he can surpass this challenge. I am still positive because Milan is a talented boxer. Right now, we’ll just have to wait and see.”
In a must-see supporting bout of the slambang show copresented by ALA Promotions and ABS-CBN Sports, former two-division champ Johnriel ‘Quadro’Alas Casimero (24-3, 15KOs) will trade fistic bombs with Jonas ‘Zorro’ Sultan (133, 9KOs) in an exciting allPinoy IBF junior bantamweight eliminator.
In the other featured match-ups, Jason ‘El Niño’ Pagara (40-2, 25KOs) will slug it out with veteran Kenyan James ‘Onyi’ Onyango (23-11, 19KOs) in a 10 round non-title match, while 'King' Arthur Villanueva (30-2, 16KOs) will take on the battle-scarred Richie Mepranum (31-6, 8KOs).
IBF light flyweight champion Milan 'El Metodico' Melindo and his IBO counterpart Hekkie ‘Hexecutioner’ Budler of South Africa pose during the official weigh-in of the ‘Pinoy Pride 42: Clash for Glory’ yesterday at The Event Centre of SM City-Cebu. They are flanked by ALA Promotions President Michael Aldeguer (L) and GAB commissioner Fritz Gaston.