prelude to big time for Budler

CALM BEFORE THE STORM: Boxers after their pre-fight medical for the tournament at Emperors Palace in Ekurhuleni
on Saturday. Pic: ANTONIO MUCHAVE. 23/02/2010. © Sowetan
CALM BEFORE THE STORM: Boxers after their pre-fight medical for the tournament at Emperors Palace in Ekurhuleni on Saturday. Pic: ANTONIO MUCHAVE. 23/02/2010. © Sowetan

THE six-bout tournament scheduled for Emperors Palace on Saturday night has been dubbed "Prelude".

THE six-bout tournament scheduled for Emperors Palace on Saturday night has been dubbed "Prelude".

The Oxford dictionary says "prelude" means action, event or situation serving as an introduction.

The tournament features Hekkie Budler, Jason Bedeman, Tshifhiwa Munyai, Thomas Oosthuizen, Kgotla Baeti and Flo Simba.

Budler, Bedeman, Oosthuizen, Baeti and Simba have already fought at the "Palace of Dreams".

Munyai is the only boxer making his debut at this venue, which is primed to become South Africa's MGM Grand, Caesars Palace or Mandalay Bay. These US boxing venues are the ultimate for every boxer.

Insiders say that Saturday night's tournament is "Hexecutioner" Budler's introduction introduction to the big-time.

Budler, 22, the tiniest of all the participants in this Golden Gloves tournament, will oppose 33-year-old Juanito Rubillar for the vacant IBO junior flyweight title.

With only 13 fights, whirlwind Budler will face his biggest test since he turned professional in 2007.

Battle-scarred Filipino warrior Rubillar, a lefty, has fought 68 times, winning 48 fights (23 KOs), losing 13 and drawing seven.

Yesterday, Budler, Bedeman, Oosthuizen, Munyai and their opponents Rubillar, Bilal Muhammed, Thomas Awinbono and Daniel Ferreras, were all given a clean bill of health by Peter Chadderton during the pre-fight medical.

Simba and Stephen Castle, who will fight over four rounds in the heavyweight division, were also there, while Baeti and Danile Bothman, who are pencilled in for eight rounds in the lightweight division, were missing in action.

l The IBF flyweight title eliminator between Zolani Tete and Richard Garcia will take place at Nasrec Arena on Friday night.

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