Budler gets a lot of flak

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Hekkie Budler must have learnt that it takes years to build up trust, but it takes only seconds to destroy it.

He has been the toast of the town since a resounding introduction to professional boxing in July last year.

Budler, who is nicknamed "Hexecutioner", knocked opponents senseless and that put him under pressure from fight enthusiasts.

They expected knockouts all the time and when that did not happen two weeks ago their trust developed cracks.

Budler outpointed Sibusiso Twani over six rounds at Emperors Palace yet fight fans were not happy.

He came under a barrage of undeserved criticism.

Sceptics say he was too wild and is not what Golden Gloves has made him out to be.

But fight fans seem to forget that the 19-year-old had to overcome two nasty cuts above both his eyes.

His trainer Colin Nathan welcomes the criticism, but as long as it is constructive.

"With a bit of seasoning, experience and time Hekkie will mature into a calculative fighter," he said, adding that people should know that Budler cannot knock all his opponents out all the time.

"If you can't knock your man out, the best thing to do is box behind the jab. Budler did that very well. There is no question about his talent and his potential. I still think the world of him. He should be voted BSA's Prospect of the Year in Bloemfontein on Friday night."

Budler is nominated alongside Chris van Heerden, Thabiso Mchunu, Noni Tenge and Unathi Myekeni for that award.

Nathan said that Budler, who campaigns in the junior flyweight division, the lightest weight category that is historically dominated by black fighters, will be back in action in the US on April 25.