budler faces tough rematch

HEKKIE Budler and Juanito Rubillar meet in a rematch of their IBO junior flyweight title fight at Emperors Palace in Ekurhuleni tomorrow night.

HEKKIE Budler and Juanito Rubillar meet in a rematch of their IBO junior flyweight title fight at Emperors Palace in Ekurhuleni tomorrow night.

Rubillar, from the Philippines, is expected to go for broke to prove South African judges Lulama Mtya and Deon Dwarte wrong after they controversially scored the first fight 117-113 and 115-113 in favour of compatriot Budler in February.

Boxing fundis and even ordinary fight fans were unanimous in their conviction that that verdict was biased and this led Rubillar to lodge a protest. He was a deserving winner.

The third judge, Isaac Tshabalala, declared that contest a stalemate, scoring the fight 114-114.

Budler, 22, did well for four rounds but the pendulum swung in favour of the battle-scarred 33-year-old Filipino from the fifth round until the final gong.

Hopefully judges Ace Makaluza of South Africa, American Michael Fitzgerald and Brit Reginald Thompson will get it right this time. Tomas Kimmons of the US will be the referee.

Budler, whose skills are honed by Colin Nathan, is undefeated after 15 fights, while Rubillar has 48 wins against 14 defeats and seven draws.

But it is the local shootout between Jason "Badman" Bedeman and Bongani "Sweet Pie" Dlamini which has generated so much interest in this Golden Gloves tournament.

Bedeman will bid for the first defence of the IBO Africa lightweight belt and their escapades outside the ring have added spice to the fight.

The two nearly exchange blows outside the ring at Emperors Palace last month.

Bedeman is a tough warrior who does nothing fancy and is undefeated in 11 fights.

Dlamini is more skilful but is yet to be tested. His trainer, Elias Tshabalala predicted that his charge will end Bedeman's reign in just two rounds.

Tshabalala's other charges, Isaac Chilemba and Gideon Buthelezi should overwhelm Michael Bolling from Australia and Filipino Ronele Ferreras for vacant IBO super middleweight and mini flyweight titles.

Florante Simba faces Zimbabwean Elvis Moyo in the heavyweight division.

Action will begin at 8pm.

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