Johannesburg – South African boxer Hekkie Budler is ready to face the best in the world according to manager Colin Nathan.
Budler retained the WBA (World Boxing Association) and IBO (International Boxing Organisation) strawweight titles with an eighth-round knock-out win over Thailand's Pigmy Kokietgym at the Golden Gloves Promotion in Monte Carlo on Saturday.
“Hekkie is ready to take on all and sundry, the champions of the WBC (World Boxing Council), the IBF (International Boxing Federation) and the WBO (World Boxing Organisation) - or anyone else who thinks he can get into the same ring as my boy,” said Nathan after the bout.
“But so far we've had none of them coming to the party, we'll keep trying.”
Despite veteran Kokietgym being ranked eighth by the WBA and sixth by the WBC (World Boxing Council), he has yet to beat anyone of real note during his lengthy, but largely low-key career.
During the fight, Budler demonstrated his traditionally high fitness level as the contest progressed.
This was despite Budler weighing in above the strawweight limit at the tournament weigh-in on Friday - thereby risking the possibility of being stripped of his WBA and IBO titles.
“The excess was only 200g,” said Nathan.
“And Hekkie was back within the strawweight limit long before the two-hour mandatory period for boxers who come in over-weight.
“And just look how strong Hekkie was during the bout. You don't fight like that if you have a weight problem.”
Also on promoter Rodney Berman's Golden Gloves bill in Monte Carlo, a bloodied Johnny Muller was a good deal less impressive than fellow-South African Budler, suffering a points defeat against little-known Doudou Ngumbu in a bruising light-heavyweight contest. – Sapa