By: Glen Dale Rosal September 11,2017 - 10:35 PM

Hekkie Budler strikes a pose at the Cebu Daily News office during a livestreaming interview.

South African IBO world light flyweight champion Budler loving Cebu’s weather, people

Two-division world champion and current IBO world light flyweight champion Hekkie “Hexecutioner” Budler is so far enjoying his stay in Cebu City.

Budler, a native of Johannesburg, South Africa, arrived in Cebu last Sept. 6 along with his trainer Colin Nathan to acclimatize for his upcoming world title showdown against IBF world light flyweight king Milan “El Metodico” Melindo this Saturday in the main event of Pinoy Pride 42: Clash For Glory at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino.

The 29-year-old Budler said he is starting to fall in love with Cebu, its weather and its people.

“I love to be here. I’m loving the weather. The people in Cebu are amazing,” said Budler in an interview with Cebu Daily News. “Everywhere I walk, they all smile at me. And everywhere I go, everyone’s nice to you. The people here are the nicest in the world. I am enjoying my stay here.”
He said he also heard about the good food but he couldn’t try them until after the fight.

But it wasn’t easy for Budler in his first few days in Cebu.

“The first three days here were quite hard. I can hardly sleep at night and I feel drowsy every day. But I have acclimatized a hundred percent now and I am feeling good and feeling strong, I got over the jet lag.”

Budler is loving Cebu so much that he plans to come back not for a boxing match but to have a vacation with his wife. He said he wants to visit Cebu’s famous beaches.

Dream come true

But before that, Budler should first take care of business this Saturday against Melindo.

Budler has a record of 31 wins, 10 by knockouts, two losses and no draws. Melindo sports a 36-2-0 (win-loss-draw) card. He has 13 wins by knockout.
He said it was one of his dreams to fight in the Philippines.

“I always wanted to come here to the Philippines and fight. It’s one of the biggest boxing nations in the world. So it’s an honor to be here,” he said.
According to Budler, boxing in the Philippines is more popular than in South Africa, which is why he always dreamed of fighting here.

And he knows the big names of Philippine boxing.

In fact, he idolizes Senator Manny Pacquiao and five-division world champion Nonito Donaire Jr.

He has already fought and beat Filipino boxers in Renan Trongco, Florante Condes, Michael Landero, Juanito Rubillar and Joey Canoy.
According to him, Filipino boxers are the toughest he had faced.

“They just keep on going forward. A boxing nation I can compare to the Philippines is Mexico but Melindo is a bit different. He is more technical and for me it’s a good change,” Budler said.

Budler and Melindo will face each other for the first time on Thursday for the pre-fight presser at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino along with the fight card’s other protagonists.

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