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Milan Melindo vs. Hekkie Budler Boxing Preview, Pick, Odds, Prediction - 9/16/17

Budler vs. Melindo

Boxing: Saturday, September 16, 2017 (Waterfront Hotel and Casino)

The Line: -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

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Milan Melindo and Hekkie Budler fight Saturday at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino for the IBF World light flyweight title.

Milan Melindo enters this fight with a 36-2 record that includes 13 knockouts. Melindo has won seven of his last eight fights, and he’s coming off a May win over Akira Yaegashi. Melindo hasnt lost since his bout with Javier Mendoza and will defend his belt for the first time. Melindo is a 29-year-old boxer who stands at 5’2” with a 65 inch reach and has an orthodox stance. Melindo is coming off a really impressive victory in which he knocked out Yaegashi in the first round in on his home turf. Of course, Melindo is no secret to this division, as he lands rapid combinations, has a very strong left hand and simply knows how to win rounds with his effectiveness and accuracy. Melindo doesn’t have the most power in the world, putting pressure on him to outwork his opponent, and six of his last nine wins have come by decision. Melindo has fought much of his career in the Philippines, his birthplace. 

Milan Melindo vs. Hekkie Budler Boxing Preview, Pick, Odds, Prediction - 9/16/17

USA TODAY NETWORK

Hekkie Budler enters this fight with a 31-2 record that includes 10 knockouts. Budler has won five of his last six fights, and he’s coming off a February win over Joey Canoy. Budler has won his last two bouts since his 2016 loss to Byron Rojas and and has a chance to put himself in the best pound for pound conversion in his country with a victory here. Budler is a 29-year-old South African who stands at 5’3”, has a 65 inch reach and an orthodox stance. Budler is an athletic boxer who moves well in the ring, has good defensive positioning and counter well. Budler can be tough to hit at times due to constant movement and patience, and he’s going to pick his spots when to be aggressive. Both of Budler’s losses could have truly gone either way, which indicates just how tough his fights can be to judge. Budler isn’t known for his punching power, but four of his last eight victories have come by stoppage. This will be Budler’s first fight in the Philippines.

While few will pay attention to this bout with it being on the same day as Golovkin and Canelo, this is a solid bout between two of the better light flyweights in the world. Budler is the slightly bigger fighter and will be tough and frustrating for Melindo, who likes to push the pace and relies on rhythm. This is all about who can control the fight and dictate pace to force the opponent to match their style, especially with neither having much finish power. With that said, I give the edge to Melindo, as he’s the better offensive fighter, and I usually side with the aggressor unless there’s a clear edge in talent and ability.

Melindo wins this fight.

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