Budler loses bid for ti­tle

CityPress - - Sport - CITY PRESS CORRESPONDENT sports@city­press.co.za

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.

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