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Budler confident but sees Melindo a ‘dangerous’ foe

Two-division world champion Hekkie ‘Hexecutioner’ Budler of South Africa strikes a pose during a visit at The Freeman office yesterday to promote his upcoming fight with IBF light flyweight champion Milan ‘El Metodico’ Melindo this Saturday night at the Waterfront-Cebu City Hotel & Casino. Paul Jun E. Rosaroso

CEBU, Philippines — Two-division world champion Hekkie ‘Hexecutioner’ Budler (31-2, 10KOs) is bracing for what is by far the toughest challenge of his career when he battles IBF light flyweight titlist Milan ‘El Metodico’ Melindo (36-2, 13KOs) but the South African has no doubt in his mind that he can dethrone the ALA Gym star.

Budler, the reigning IBO 108-pound titleholder, faces Melindo in a surefire blockbuster showdown of world champions topbilling the ‘Pinoy Pride 42: Clash for Glory’ this Saturday night at the Pacific grand ballroom of Waterfront-Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

“This is definitely the biggest and the hardest fight of my boxing career,” said Budler during a tour at The Freeman office yesterday. “Melindo is great fighter but I came here prepared and confident that I can defeat him in his own backyard.”

The 29-year-old Budler is nicknamed the ‘Filipino Executioner' for having beaten all of his Pinoy foes including former world champion Florante Condes, Renan Trongco, Juanito Rubillar and Joey Canoy.

But Budler said Melindo is way different from the Filipino boxers he fought.

“I consider Filipino boxers as one of the toughest in the world but this guy (Melindo) could be the most dangerous I will face,” said the former WBA minimumweight king. “They all come forward but reckless, while Melindo is very technical and he can also hurt his opponents with his power as well.”

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Despite his admiration for Melindo, Budler remained upbeat on his chances that he is already planning to unify all the belts in the 108 lbs.

“My goal is to win all the belts in my division,” said Budler. “Facing Melindo is more than just a career fight. It’s an opportunity to cement my legacy as a multiple belt champion. It is going to be an excellent fight, a real treat for the fans.” (FREEMAN)

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