South Africa’s best boxer will put his two championship titles on the line this weekend when he tops the “Supercharged” bill at Emperors Palace on Saturday.
The action will be broadcast live on SuperSport Select (channel 210) from 7.30pm.
Hekkie Budler has received wide acclaim since winning a version of the world title five years ago. Most recently, he became the first SA boxer to be accorded “Super” status by the World Boxing Association.
But none of this will matter if he is unsuccessful against Byron Rojas of Nicaragua, who is hoping to become the 11th fighter from his country to win a world championship.
Budler operates in the lightest division in boxing, winning fans over with his all-action style that has seen him win 12 of 13 world championship fights. He has been defeated just once in 10 years, a remarkable record that stands comparison with the very best.
“I’ve put all the hard work in. This guy is fast and comes to fight, but I’ve seen nothing to worry about,” says Budler of his opponent, fighting away from home for the first time.
With Budler the house fighter at the casino venue, the Nicaraguan will discover just how intimidating the venue can be for visiting fighters.
“It’s going to be a very hard fight,” he concedes. “This is a big opportunity for me. Budler is a great champion. I plan to come out of it the better fighter.”
The undercard includes two outstanding fights. The main one pits local star Paul Kamanga against Russian Roman Belaev, who gave Ali Funeka a tough fight in 2014. Giving the fight an extra touch of spice, the winner has been promised a spot on a Las Vegas bill in May.
Also, SA junior-welterweight champion Grant Fourie faces old rival Warren Joubert. The pair produced a rousing 12-rounder last year and expectations are of another mini-classic as the veterans do battle.