Budler loses bid for title
Hekkie “Hexecutioner” Budler failed in his attempt to add the International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior flyweight crown to his collection yesterday.
He lost to defending champion Filipino Milan “El Metodico” Melindo by a split decision at Waterfront Hotel & Casino in Cebu City, Philippines. The judges scored the fight 115-113 for Budler, and 117-110 and 115-112 both for Melindo.
But the result was not the true reflection of the fight as a draw could have at least been awarded.
Hexecutioner used an exceptional work rate to catch the champion with telling punches throughout the proceedings. He did this connecting with telling right hooks to force El Metodico onto the back foot for the better part of the fight.
Budler used the ring skilfully to pile pressure and dictate the pace of the fight. But Melinda, who fought from the inside, retaliated by landing effective hooks that shook his opponent.
So effective were Budler’s shots that he forced the champion to clinch. It came as no surprise when Melindo sported a nasty cut above the left eyebrow in the sixth round, which doctors in his corner tried and close.
But the champion, being an infighter, tried everything in the book to throw big bombs to unsettle the South African. But Budler answered with telling hooks to force the title holder to retreat.
Melinda got another cut over the right eye in the 10th stanza as a result of Budler’s onslaught. But the Filipino, fighting with half-closed eyes, bravely took the fight to Budler and scored with great body shots to make things difficult for the South African.
The final round saw both sluggers giving it their all as they connected with every punch in the book to show who was superior.
The result from the judges went El Metido’s way and ensured he made a successful title defence.
It would be great if the IBF could order a rematch because the South African deserves it.
Budler surrendered his International Boxing Organisation (IBO) and World Boxing Association minimum weight titles to Nicaraguan Byron Rojas by a unanimous points decision at Emperors Palace last year. Hexecutioner lifted the then vacant IBO crown by stopping Joey Canoy in the seventh round, also at Emperors Palace, in February.
Melinda has now stretched his record to 39 fights. He won the IBF championship diadem via a first-round stoppage over Akira Yaegashi in Japan in May.
. In the main bout on the undercard, Kenyan James “Onyi” Onyango fought to a draw with Filipino Jason “El Nino” Pagad in a gripping welterweight 10-round match.
The judges scored the fight 114-114, 114-113 for Onyango, and 115-113 for Pagad.