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budler a charmer

By Bongani Magasela | Apr 06, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

IF IBO junior flyweight champion Hekkie "Hexecutioner" Budler was black, I believe that no black boxer would fight him.

IF IBO junior flyweight champion Hekkie "Hexecutioner" Budler was black, I believe that no black boxer would fight him.

That's not only because he has the heart of a lion, but because he owns six pythons, an anaconda and a corn snake. Call it superstition if you like, but if he was black he would be accused of many nasty things, including practising witchcraft, and his career would have suffered.

Sowetan spoke to the popular, diminutive 21-year-old fighter about his other loves at Avusa House in Rosebank yesterday.

Q: Are you normal? You don't seem so. Why eight snakes?

A: A friend gave me his just to feel it at primary school and I fell in love with them then. I like the way they move, eat and grow. They are easy to take care of. I have had very influential people from all walks of life visiting our house just to see the snakes.

Q: Do you have a girlfriend and if you do, how does she react to snakes?

A: Yes I do, professional dancer Rhode Jooste. She does not mind them. She holds them, except for the anaconda. She does not like it when I feed them rabbits.

Q: When did this boxing bug bite?

A: When I was eight years old.

Q: Who is your trainer and manager?

A: Colin Nathan.

Q: You turned professional three years ago. Did you think you would be a world champion by now?

A: Not at all. I want to thank God, my parents, Colin, promoter Rodney Berman and my sponsors Africa Floorcare, Sullen and Lashik Hair for my success.

Q: A message to your fans.

A: I am blessed to have you behind me all the time.

Q: Boxing is brutal - what is your response?

A: Yes, in some respects, but it is mostly a mental game.

Q: How long do you plan to continue as a fighter?

A: I will think about retirement after (turning) 30. Surely I will have made enough money so that when I stop I will never have to come back.

Q: Do you drink alcohol?

A: I don't mind a glass or two when I am not preparing for a fight.

Q: The people you admire most?

A: Nelson Mandela and Lance Armstrong.

Q: Your favourite soccer clubs locally and abroad?

A: SuperSport United and Manchester United.

Q: How do you relax?

A: At home by playing X-Box and also playing with my snakes.

A: Your favourite soapie?

A: 7de Laan.

Q: Who is your favourite musician?

A: Eminem.

Q: When last were you involved in a street fight?

A: Way back at school seven years ago.

Q: Who do you regard as the greatest boxer ever locally and abroad?

A: Muhammad Ali. Here, Brian Mitchell and "Baby Jake" Matlala.

Q: I know that you don't have a car but what would you like to drive?

A: A Ford Mustang GT500.

Q: Which is your favourite newspaper?

A: Sowetan, not because I am here at your offices. It carries lots of sport.

Q: Your message to the youth your age and even older?

A: Live clean, follow your dream, stay strong and the future ahead is bright.


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