Melindo stakes 108-pound title against South African

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Philippine interim champion Milan Melindo watches Japanese champion Akira Yaegashi fall during their IBF light flyweight boxing unified champion match in Tokyo. Melindo won the title by a knockout in the first round. | SUMIO YAMADA

MANILA, Philippines — IBF light flyweight champion Milan Melindo resumes his quest for stardom as he defends his crown against South Africa's Hekkie "The Hexecutioner" Budler at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City this Saturday.

Boxing analyst and boxing historian Atty. Ed Tolentino believes Melindo has what it takes to become the next big Filipino boxer.

"The country is looking for a new boxing hero and I think Milan, even if he's a little guy, he can fill this void," Tolentino said.

However, Tolentino said Melindo will have to prove his worth when against Budler (31-2, with 10 KOs) in the main event of "Pinoy Pride 42: Clash For Glory."

And in order to walk out of the ring victorious, Tolentino said Melindo must stay true to his moniker – be methodical.

“Budler is a pocket rocket; he is the one that’s going to instigate the hostilities. It is for Milan to stay in cruise control and not have this fight dictated by emotions. Keep it tactical, avoid the brutality that Budler will bring into this fight, which Milan has already proven that he can do.” he said.

Meanwhile, Jason "El Nino" Pagara will try to notch his 14th-straight win, taking on Kenya's James Onyango in the undercard.

Filipino contenders John Reil Casimero and Jonas Sultan will figure in an eliminator for the right to challenge fellow Pinoy and reigning IBF junior bantamweight champion Jerwin Ancajas.

Kevin Jake Cataraja will clash with Wiljan Ugbaniel while "King" Arthur Villanueva will collide with Richie Mepranum to complete the card.

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