"BEWARE of Juanito Rubillar's counters."
This was the stern warning from boxing legend Brian Mitchell to 22-year-old Hekkie Budler yesterday.
The retired Hall of Fame inductee, who now works as a boxing commentator, cautioned Budler ahead of his challenge for the vacant IBO junior flyweight title against Rubillar at Emperors Palace on February 27.
Rubillar, 32, is a battle-scarred left-handed warrior from the Philippines, whose fighting stance could trouble Budler.
"Most southpaws are essentially counter-punchers and in this respect Hekkie will need to adopt a strategic battle plan that is somewhat different from his characteristic biff-bang frontal assaults," Mitchell warned yesterday.
"Moreover, a guy like Hekkie, who loves warring in the trenches, could be susceptible to uppercuts thrown at close quarters, and as we know, Rubillar has a very dangerous uppercut that he fires with jarring effect.
"Rubillar has been around for a long time, giving him massive experience. Hekkie has the poise and talent to win, but this will depend on what tactics he adopts on the day."