by Ronnie Nathanielsz
Former International Boxing Federation minimum weight champion Florante “Little Pacquiao” Condes goes for a second world title when he faces International Boxing Organization minimum weight champion Hekkie “The Hexecutioner” Budler at the Emperors Palace in Kempton Park, South Africa on Sunday morning Manila Time.
Condes won the title with a split decision victory over Muhammad Rachman of Indonesia in a title fight in Jakarta on July 7, 2007 despite dropping Rahman once in round 3 and once in round 10.
He subsequently lost the title to Mexico’s Raul “Rayito” Garcia in Garcia’s hometown of La Paz by a questionable twelve round split decision after dropping the Mexican in the final round.
Condes himself lost in a one-sided decision to Joyi in a minimum weight title eliminator in East London, South Africa in June 2009 for the right to face Garcia for the title..Garcia in turn lost the title to Nkosinathi Joyi of South Africa .
South African sportswriters believe that Budler holds the hometown advantage and the status as champion in a fight that may well turn into a war.
Budler twice beat veteran Filipino southpaw Juanito Rubillar twice, the first by a very controversial majority decision for the IBO light flyweight title on February 27, 2010 and then won a rematch by a split decision on June 19, 2010.
In one of his more recent fights Budler won the vacant IBO minimum weight title with a 12 round unanimous decision over former OPBF champion, Filipino Michael Landero.
The southpaw Condes is a big puncher and is determined to win his second world title. His corner-man Brico Santig has been quoted as saying the fight against Budler is not easy but “it’s a great chance for Condes to become champion again.”
Santig said Condes had trained hard for the title shot.
The 32 year old Condes has a record of 25-6-1 with 21 knockouts while Budler is just 24 and sports a record of 20-1 with 6 knockouts.
Budler told City Press he is looking forward to the fight. “I am well prepared for the fight and my fitness level speaks for itself. I’m well aware of Florante’s hard punches and we’ve got a good counter-game plan for that.”