Bloodied Milan Melindo retains IBF crown via Split Decision
Santino Honasan on Sep 16, 2017 11:56 PM
Milan Melindo outpointed Hekkie Budler to retain his IBF light-flyweight title at Pinoy Pride 42 in Cebu
When Milan Melindo won the IBF Light-Flyweight title in Japan, it came quickly.
At the 2:45 minute of the first round, the ALA Boxing standout knocked out Akira Yaegashi to claim the IBF's 108-pound championship.
In his first title defense at Pinoy Pride 42 in Cebu however, Melindo went through a war.
Against South African challenger Hekkie 'The Hexecutioner' Budler, Melindo had to overcome two massive cuts above both eyebrows to eke out a Split Decision win.
Melindo started out strong, landing the better shots in the early rounds, but a sixth round exchange led to a cut being opened up on the Pinoy's left eyebrow.
The cut shifted the momentum to the challenger's favor, with Budler mounting offense in the seventh and eighth rounds.
Budler opened up another cut on Melindo's right eyebrow in the tenth round, but the champion, bloodied and all, toughed it out and fought on, rocking the challenger in the eleventh frame.
In the final round, with no fighter holding a definite advantage on the cards, Melindo and Budler went at it, throwing down until the final bell.
After twelve grueling rounds, the two warriors hugged it out as the packed Waterfront Hotel crowd cheered them on.
In the end, the champion walked away with a close Split Decision, 113-115, 117-110, 115-113 win to successfully defend his championship.
Melindo improves to 37-2 in his career.
In other Pinoy Pride 42 action, Jason Pagara and Kenyan James Onyango fought to a Split Draw, while ALA Boxing rising star Jonas "Zorro" Sultan earned the biggest win of his young career, outpointing former two-division world champion John Riel "Quadro Alas" Casimero via Unanimous Decision to earn a world title shot against reigning IBF Super-Flyweight king Jerwin Ancajas.
Former world title challenger "King" Arthur Villanueva also made a successful return to the ring, earning a stoppage win against Richie "Magnum" Mepranum.
Complete Pinoy Pride 42 Results
Milan Melindo def. Hekkie Budler via Split Decision (113-115, 117-110, 115-113) to retain IBF Light-Flyweight championship
Jason Pagara and James Onyango fought to Split Draw
Jonas Sultan def. John Riel Casimero via Unanimous Decision (117-111, 116-112, 115-113)
Arthur Villanueva def Richie Mepranum via TKO (RTD), 3:00 R4
KJ Cataraja def. Wiljan Ugbaniel via KO, 1:56 R2
Virgel Vitor def. Alvin Bais via KO, 2:49 R1
Kenneth Gentallan def. Jeffrey Stella via Unanimous Decision (59-54, 59-54, 60-53)
Jeno Macapobre def. Mel Ando via TKO, 2:21 R3