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Hekkie Budler to get shot at WBC belt

WBA Super junior flyweight boxing champion Hekkie "Hexecutioner" Budler has been included in the top five list for the SA Sports Star of the Year Award. / Moeletsi Mabe
WBA Super junior flyweight boxing champion Hekkie "Hexecutioner" Budler has been included in the top five list for the SA Sports Star of the Year Award. / Moeletsi Mabe
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

Just when his detractors thought he was done and dusted as a fighter, especially after quitting in the 10th round to lose the WBA junior flyweight belt to Hiroto Kyoguchi in Japan in December, Hekkie the "Hexecutioner" Budler is on the verge of challenging for the WBC belt.

The whirlwind performer, who became the first local fighter in 68 years to lift the Ring Magazine after winning both the IBF and WBA belts in 2018, has been given the No. 1 spot for the WBC junior flyweight belt that is held by Ken Shiro, also from Japan.

This means the 31-year-old Budler could be ordered by the championship committee of the WBC to be involved in a title elimination bout or go straight at Shiro, who has held that belt since 2017.

Budler - who has amassed 11 belts in 36 fights with 32 wins against four losses - said: "[It's a] great honour to be rated highly by the WBC. Hopefully, the fight will happen soon. I'd like to have a fight in the interim."

Trainer Colin Nathan, who jets out to Thailand today with Simphiwe "Chain Reaction" Konkco to challenge reigning WBC strawweight champion Wanheng Menayothin next Friday, said: "Hekkie was rated No2 and 3 for many years at straw weights but did not get to challenge for the title.

"The opportunity has come now and we are looking forward to getting a shot at the WBC. I think this is great for South African boxing.

"Let us see what the developments will be during the WBC's convention which takes place next month."

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