Hekkie done in by Melindo - and the referee

So close yet so far for Hekkie "Hexecutioner" Budler, who fell short in his gallant attempt to win the IBF junior flyweight title from Milan Melindo in the Philippines on Saturday.

Budler lost by a dubious split-points decision. Poor judgment by American referee Wes Melton, a radiator shop owner, could be the reason behind Budler's defeat.

Melton ruled a clear slip by Budler as being a knockdown in the beginning of round 12 and that impacted negatively on Budler's scoring.

When a boxer gets dropped they they lose the round by 10 points to eight.

The bout on Saturday was close, especially from round four. More punches were coming from Budler while Melindo - whose face was covered in a blood from two bad cuts above both eyes - threw power punches.

Scores were 117-110 and 115-112 for Melindo while the other judge scored it 115-113 for Budler. The judge who scored the fight 117-110 must have smoked his socks.

The truth is that the two 29-year-old right-handed boxers produced a rousing performance. At times Budler would win the first half of a round, and Melindo would come back to win the second half - and vice versa. Budler, a former IBO, WBA and WBA Super and current IBO junior flyweight holder, suffered his third loss against 31 wins while Melindo improved to 36 wins from 38 fights.