To American boxing fans on September 16, Canelo Alvarez vs. Gennady Golovkin was the fight to watch, while British boxing fans had Billy Joe Saunders vs. Willie Monroe Jr. and the World Boxing Super Series. At the end of the day, Milan Melindo vs. Hekkie Budler may end up as the fight of the whole day.
Melindo retained his IBF junior flyweight title by narrowly defeating IBO champion Hekkie Budler with a split decision victory in the Philippines (13-115, 117-110, 115-112). The fight was the first of several title fights that would take place all over the world.
Melindo and Budler fought an extremely competitive contest that saw Melindo get the upper hand early in the fight, but Budler got some confidence going after Melindo after Melindo suffered a cut near his left eye midway through the fight. Budler started to attack Melindo and target the injury.
Budler eventually got another cut on Melindo in the 10th round and Melindo was in deep trouble after the doctors seemingly looked like they would stop the fight. The crowd at Waterfront Hotel and Casino in Cebu City chanted Melindo's name and spurred him on to one more rally, winning the last two rounds and even scored a knockdown in the last round that would end up giving Melindo the much-needed win on a second scorecard.
This was Melindo's second title defense. In his last time out, Melindo knocked out Akira Yeaegashi in one round back in May to retain the IBF title.
Earlier in the card, Jonas Sultan outboxed former junior flyweight and flyweight titleholder Johnriel Casimero to a unanimous decision win (117-111, 116-112, 115-113) to become the No. 1 contender to the IBF junior bantamweight title currently held by Jerwin Ancajas.