IBO title set Gideon 'Hard Core' Buthelezi on path to greatness
Today marks 10 years since Boipatong in the Vaal produced its first world boxing champion - when Gideon "Hard Core" Buthelezi won the IBO straw-weight belt.
Boipatong is known for the infamous massacre on June 17 1992, when residents were killed by local hostel dwellers.
The left-handed Buthelezi, a former SA champion, went on to win more IBO titles in two different weight divisions.
In total, he has won three IBO belts in three weight divisions.
"Winning my first world title made me feel like a big man," giggled Buthelezi, who began his career in the smallest of the 17 boxing weight divisions.
He did not defend his IBO belt and instead moved up to the junior-flyweight division where he dethroned Hekkie Budler as the IBO holder.
"The aim was to first beat Nkosinathi Joyi and later Budler. Joyi's management turned us down. Budler's management of Colin Nathan gave us the chance because they were sure of victory," said Buthelezi, who remains the only local boxer to defeat Budler.
Again, Buthelezi moved up to the junior-bantamweight class, where he won the same organisation's belt against Edrin Dapudong, the Filipino who avenged his split-decision loss in 2012 with a first-round KO in 2013. He had been with trainer Harold Volbrecht.
Buthelezi and new trainer Keith Rass won the WBO Africa bantamweight title in Namibia before Buthelezi was robbed against IBO junior- bantamweight holder Lwandile Sityatha in 2015. Sityatha later vacated the belt.
Buthelezi easily beat Makazole Tete to capture that title.
Buthelezi and another new trainer, Lucky Ramagole, recorded the fifth defence in July in what was the Boipatong champion's 22nd win against five losses.
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