Sat Sep 23 16:34:39 CAT 2017

'Hexecutioner' readyfor fifth world title

By Bongani Magasela | 2017-09-06 09:02:27.0

Four-time world boxing champion Hekkie "Hexecutioner" Budler jetted off to the Philippines yesterday, feeling confident of winning his fifth global title.

Budler faces IBF junior flyweight holder Milan Melindo in his backyard in Cebu next Saturday (September 16).

Budler is the former IBO, WBA and WBA Super mini-flyweight champion and current IBO junior flyweight holder. The 29-year-old warrior from Newlands in Johannesburg left with trainer Colin Nathan yesterday.

"I want to be a five-time world champion, and I know the task ahead of me is going to be a very tough one, probably my hardest fight ever," said the boxer, who always sports a rainbow-colours hairdo in the ring.

"Melindo is a hard fighter although his record does not show that. This could be my hardest fight ever but I believe [that with] the game plan we have, we will win the fight and bring back home the IBF belt."

Budler, who has fought tough opponents in a career spanning 10 years with 31 wins, 10 knockouts against only two losses, added: "It will be an extremely hard fight but I am ready. I did eight 52 rounds of sparring because I will not be doing any in the week leading to the fight. I will be right in front of him, throwing it back hard."

Budler has never been stopped in his career. The two losses - to Gideon Buthelezi and Byron Rojas - were on points.

Melindo will make the first defence of the world title he won in May. The champion has 13 knockouts in 36 wins against two losses.

Wes Melton from the US will be the referee while Takeo Harada (Japan), Carl Zappia (Australia) and Glenn Trowbridge (US) will be judges.