Rising stars feature in Lords of the Ring

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Two emerging stars, Hekkie "Hexecutioner" Budler and Grant "Fireball" Fourie, have been included in the "Lords of the Ring" boxing extravaganza that will take place at Emperors Palace on November 12.

Budler will fight Sibusiso Nqalathi and Fourie faces Sam Sithole.

Their four-rounders will be part of promoter Rodney Berman's year-ending tournament that features four 12-round fights.

Osborne "Big Daddy" Machimana defends his heavyweight belt against Peter Cronje, while Soon "Bazooka" Botes defends against Daniel "Billy the Kid" Bruwer.

Thomas "Merciless" Mashaba will put his IBO featherweight title on line against American Eric "Mighty Mouse" Aiken, while Cassius "Hitman" Baloyi and Australian Gary "Superman" St Clair will collide for the IBF's junior lightweight number one spot.

Tickets are sold at R90, R190 and R290.

Berman, whose Golden Gloves promotions will stage the tournament, said that his American associate, Art Pelullo of Banner Promotion, will be at ringside to see how well Baloyi and Mashaba shape up.

"Art has already obtained [US sports station] ESPN television dates for 2008 and has confirmed that a number of our fighters will feature on some of those shows.

"He is keen to have Machimana top a televised bill and naturally both Baloyi and Mashaba should they win on November 12," said Berman.

He feels his budding stars, Budler, 19, and Fourie, 24, could also benefit from Pelullo's visit.

Budler, who campaigns in the junior flyweight division, is trained by Collin Nathan and Fourie, a lightweight fighter, is under the tutelage of Harold Volbrecht.

Budler has two wins, both by stoppages, while Fourie boasts three knockouts from four wins.

Budler and Fourie are from boxing families. Budler's uncle is Piet Crous (former SA and WBA cruiserweight champion) while Fourie's father, Louis is a former Transvaal junior middleweight champion and uncle Piere Fourie is a former SA light heavyweight champ.