Warrior Melindo survives Budler
BY: EDRI K. AZNAR: SUNSTAR CEBU
ROUGH TACTICS. Milan Melindo had two cuts in both eyes due to headbutts but he managed to hold on for a split decision victory. (SunStar File Photo / Arni Aclao)
BLOODIED with two huge gashes on both eyebrows that distorted his vision, Milan Melindo pressed on and showed everyone why he deserved to be a world champion.
Others would have quit, but not Melindo. He finished strong in his International Boxing Federation (IBF) light flyweight title defense against former world champion Hekkie Budler to get the split decision nod last Saturday night in the main event of Pinoy Pride 42 – “Clash of Glory” at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino.
“I just wanted to win. The blood didn’t matter, I just let my punches go like what coach Edito said. He thought that I couldn’t see. I thought that it was their plan to headbutt me,” said the 29-year-old Melindo after his grueling 12-round war with Budler.
Melindo dropped Budler with a right straight in the 12th round and traded blows with a game Budler up until the final bell.
“The crowd cheering me on gave me extra energy. The fans were very supportive and I thank them,” said Melindo.
Melindo was more accurate with his punches, landing hooks to the body and uppercuts. Budler started to land his combinations in the middle rounds after Melindo was cut open above his left eye with a headbutt. In the 10th round, Melindo suffered another huge gash, this time above his right eye.
But despite being covered in blood, Melindo still continued to land on Budler.
“We expected a tough fight, a great fight. We’re happy that the fans enjoyed the fight,” said ALA Promotions president Michael Aldeguer. “It was up there considering Budler is a tough opponent. I think maybe the scorecards didn’t show what it was. Overall, he was hitting his punches.”
Judge Takeo Harada saw Melindo winning by a mile at 117-110, while judge Glenn Trowbridge had Melindo with a slight 115-112 edge. Judge Carl Zappia saw it differently and scored it 115-113 for Budler.
“No question about the heart. He always has the heart, that’s why he’s a champion,” said Aldeguer.
Melindo improved to 37-2 with 13 knockouts, while Budler dropped to 31-3 with 10 knockouts.
Melindo will be awaiting his mandatory world title defense, which will be determined in a title eliminator.
Jonas Sultan (14-3, 9 KOs) earned No. 1 contender status after a huge unanimous decision upset over two-division world champion Johnriel Casimero (24-4, 15 KOs) in an IBF super flyweight title eliminator.
Sultan was more busy and accurate with his punches, and got the right strategy for Casimero.
All three judges were in unison with scores of 117-111, 116-112 and 115-113 in favor of Sultan. “I’m very happy because I showed a very good performance,” said Sultan. “I can fight anyone. I can easily adjust and I always have a game plan.”
Sultan is now the mandatory challenger for fellow Filipino and IBF super flyweight king Jerwin Ancajas.
World Boxing Organization (WBO) No. 3 rated light welterweight Jason Pagara (40-2-1, 25 KOs) got more than he expected as settled to a split draw with last-minute replacement James Onyango (23-11-2, 19 KOs). (EKA)
Read more: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/cebu/sports/2017/09/18/warrior-melindo-survives-budler-564656
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