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List of Articles by Maloney L. Samaco


 

MELINDO, CASIMERO, SULTAN, PAGARA, VILLANUEVA AND MEPRANUM READY TO RUMBLE FOR PINOY PRIDE 42

By Maloney L. Samaco
PhilBoxing.com
07 Sep 2017



All systems go for the 42nd edition of Pinoy Pride dubbed "Clash for Glory" headlining IBF world light flyweight champion Milan "El Metodico" Melindo defending his title against IBO junior flyweight champion Hekkie "Hexecutioner" Budler of South Africa on September 16 at the Waterfront Hotel & Casino in Lahug, Cebu City. This will be an exciting matchup with Melindo facing a quick and slick fighter which has a vast experience in world title fights. Melindo is rated No.4 by The Ring and No. 3 by BoxRec while Budler is ranked No. 9 by The Ring and No. 6 by BoxRec in the light flyweight class.

* * *

The officials for the IBF world light flyweight title bout between defending champion Milan “El Metodico” Melindo and IBO light flyweight champion Hekkie “The Hexecutioner” Budler have already been named. The referee is Wes Melton (Arizona, USA) and will be joined by judges Takeo Harada (Japan), Glenn Trowbridge (Las Vegas, USA), and Carl Zappia (Perth, Western Australia). The IBF Supervisor will be GAB Comissioner Fritz Gaston.

* * *

The 29-year-old Melindo from the ALA boxing stable dethroned Akira Yaegashi last May with an exciting first-round technical knockout to finally wrest a world crown, the International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior flyweight title at the Ariake Colosseum in Tokyo, Japan. Melindo decked Yaegashi thrice in the first round to score an upset win and grabbed the world title that elude him in his two previous attempts.

* * *

After two knockdowns Yaegashi went toe-to-toe with Melindo as the ALA Gym fighter finished him off with fatal left-right combinations. Referee Eddie Hernandez stopped the punishnent at 2:45 of the opening round. Melindo became the second fighter from ALA Promotions to become a world champion this year. Donnie Nietes earlier won the vacant IBF flyweight title via a 12-round unanimous decision against Komgrich Nantapech of Thailand.

* * *

Hector "Hekkie" Budler (31-2, 10 KOs) was born on May 18, 1988 is a two-weight world champion, having held the IBO light-flyweight title since February 2017 and previously from 2010 to 2011. He also captured the IBO minimumweight strap from 2011 to 2016 and the WBA minimumweight crown from 2014 to 2016.

* * *

Budler won the vacant IBO minimumweight belt with a unanimous decision win over Filipino Michael Landero. He then won the vacant WBA minimumweight title with a first-round knockout win over Colombian Karluis Diaz. He held these titles until March 2016 when he was defeated by Byron Rojas of Nicaragua via unanimous decision.

* * *

On February 27, 2010, Budler won over Juanito Rubillar (48-14-7, 23 KOs) by a controversial majority decision at the Emperors Casino in Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa. The bout was for the vacant IBO light flyweight title. In that fight, the then undefeated Budler started aggressively in the early rounds, while Rubillar came back in the fourth canto and landed solid blows to the body of Budler. The veteran Filipino fighter staggered Budler especially in the seventh round with solid hooks to the body.

* * *

The official scorecards created a questionable verdict giving Budler a win by majority decision. Two judges scored the fight 117-113 and 115-113 for Budler, while the third judge saw it a draw at 114-114. Rubillar's promoter and boxing manager Gabriel “Bebot” Elorde filed a protest over the alleged hometown decision for the IBF light flyweight title eliminator. The rematch took place on June 19, 2010 but Rubillar also lost by split decision. Rubillar of Mati, Davao Oriental, is the current WBC Continental Americas light flyweight champion.

* * *

Also in the Pinoy Pride 42 co-feature is former IBF world flyweight champion Johnriel "Quadro Alas" Casimero who will be matched with ALA Gym's Jonas "Zorro" Sultan for the right to challenge the IBF 115-pound title holder Jerwin "Pretty Boy" Ancajas, which will be the first time two Filipinos collide for a world title in almost 100 years.

* * *

The 27-year-old Casimero (24-3, 15 KO) dethroned Thailand's Amnat Ruenroeng in 2016 to become the IBF flyweight titlist and defended his belt last December against British Charlie Edwards before deciding to move up to super flyweight. The Ormoc City, Leyte native is on a three-fight winning streak. "To win my third title would be a great honor for me and put my name with some of the best fighters my country has ever produced," Casimero told ESPN. "I will be immediately looking to make an impact and fight the big fights that allow me the opportunity."

* * *

Sultan of the ALA Boxing Gym (13-3-0, 9KOs), currently ranked No. 8 by IBF, has won all four of his last fights via knockout, including a second round stoppage of world-ranked Makazole Tete where he won his current title in South Africa last December. Sultan successfully defended his crown with an eight-round knockout of former world champion Sonny Boy Jaro in the latter’s hometown in Angono, Rizal, last May.

* * *

WBO No. 3 junior welterweight contender Jason “El Niño” Pagara (40-2, 25 KOs) will fight James “Onyi” Onyango (23-11-1, 19 KOs) of Kenya on September 16 at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino, Cebu City, Philippines. His original opponent Richmond Djarbeng of Ghana was injured and his team informed ALA Promotions that their fighter is withdrawing the fight because their boxer got involved in a road accident over the weekend. Djarbeng reportedly suffered face and leg injuries and has been advised by doctors to rest.

* * *

In his latest fight, Onyango won by second round TKO over Patrick Atuhairwe (6-4-0, 3 KOs) of Uganda last February. Last year he lost to Salehe Mkalekwa (10-3-0, 2 KOs) of Tanzania by unanimous decision for the vacant Universal Boxing Organization (UBO) welterweight title. The Kenyan fighter has never won an international championship fight. In 2012, he lost to the then undefeated Julius Indongo of Namibia for the vacant WBO Africa superlightweight title.

* * *

Also added to the Pinoy Pride 42 card is the match between two former world title challengers "King" Arthur Villanueva fights Richie "Magnum" Mepranum. Villanueva (30-2-0, 16 KOs), is a former IBF super-flyweight and WBO bantamweight title contender. He suffered a loss to WBO bantamweight king Zolani Tete and is making a comeback in the world title campaign, while Mepranum (31-6-1, 8 KOs) will strive to stop a two-fight successive losses.


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