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Aldeguer: It’s anybody’s game

IBF light flyweight champion Milan ‘El Metodico’ Melindo and two-division world champion Hekkie ‘Hexecutioner’ Budler of South Africa stare each other down during the final press conference of ‘Pinoy Pride 42: Clash for Glory’ yesterday at the Caspian room of Waterfront-Cebu City Hotel and Casino. Paul jun E. Rosaroso

CEBU, Philippines — ALA Promotions President Michael Aldeguer believes that anything can happen in the highly-anticipated battle between defending IBF light flyweight champion Milan ‘El Metodico’ Melindo (36-2, 13KOs) and two-division world champion Hekkie ‘Hexecutioner’ Budler (31-2, 10KOs) in the main event of ‘Pinoy Pride 42: Clash for Glory’ tomorrow night at the Pacific grand ballroom of Waterfront-Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

While expressing his confidence in  Melindo, Aldeguer admitted that it’s hard to predict the outcome and who will prevail in the fight.

“We are going to see two of the top light flyweight champions in one ring,” said Aldeguer during the final press conference yesterday at the Caspian room of Waterfront Hotel.

“I have trust in Milan but he is facing  Budler, who has proven himself to be a great world champion,” he said. “It’s hard to say who will win because both guys are very gifted. You can’t count either of them out.”

Melindo, who claimed the IBF crown with a devastating first-round knockout of two-division world titleholder Akira Yaegashi of Japan last May 21 in Tokyo, is extremely confident that he can get the job done.

“This fight is very important for me. Not only that I will be defending my belt for the first time, but a win will cement my legacy as one of the greatest boxer in the country,” said the pride of Cagayan De Oro City.“I am fighting not just a known opponent but a two-division world champion. We are both in our prime and I am expecting him to give me a good fight.”

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For his part, Budler, the reigning IBO champion, reiterated that Melindo will be his biggest and toughest challenge, but the South African punching dynamo is upbeat on his chances and warned that the ALA star is in for a big surprise come fight night.

“I came here to win. I am well prepared and my only goal is to get that belt home to South Africa,” said the former WBA minimumweight champion.

In the equally-exciting supporting main event of the slambang show co-presented by ALA Promotions and ABS-CBN Sports, Jason ‘El Niño’ Pagara (40-2, 25KOs) will be tested again against Kenyan James ‘Onyi’ Onyango (23-11, 19KOs) in a 10 round non-title match.

In the other featured bout,former two-division champ Johnriel ‘Quadro’ Alas Casimero (24-3, 15KOs) takes on Jonas ‘Zorro’ Sultan (13-3, 9KOs) in an IBF junior bantamweight eliminator. (FREEMAN)

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