Joyce Kungwane keeps the door open for Hekkie Budler

Hekkie Budler makes his challenge for three belts on the Japanese soil on Sunday. /Moeletsi Mabe
Hekkie Budler makes his challenge for three belts on the Japanese soil on Sunday. /Moeletsi Mabe
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

When one door closes, another opens. But we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one that has opened for us.

This has been the case with Hekkie "Hexecutioner" Budler.

The former multiple world champion has been pondering what could have gone wrong with his elimination bout for the WBC belt that is held by Ken Shiro from Japan.

Budler, the 31-year-old boxer from Newlands in Johannesburg, had been given the No 1 spot by the WBC's ratings committee.

That meant Budler, who is trained by Colin Nathan, was supposed to be ordered by the WBC's Championship Committee to be involved in a title eliminator, or be handed a direct shot at Shiro, who has held the WBC belt since 2017.

But nothing happened.

Joyce Kungwane has come to his rescue, however. She has matched him with Ricardo "Smiley" Sueno from the Philippines in a 10-rounder that will take place in Vanderbijlpark on March 28.

Kungwane's fight is a non-title bout, but it will help Budler, who last fought in 2018, to retain his No 1 spot in the WBC ratings because he may forfeit it if he is out of the ring for a longer period.

"This is the fight to shake off ring rust. We will press hard to fight Ken Shiro," explained Nathan.

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