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Budler gets crack at WBC title via elimination bout

His trainer also excited about making personal history

Hekkie Budler will fight Elwin Soto in Mexico on June 25. File photo.
Hekkie Budler will fight Elwin Soto in Mexico on June 25. File photo.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

Hekkie Budler will oppose Mexican Elwin Soto for the rights to earn a crack at the WBC junior-flyweight title that is currently held by Kenshiro Teraji.

Budler, aka “The Hexecutioner”, will face Soto in what the WBC has officially ordered as the elimination fight in Mexico on June 25.

The local fighter – who holds the WBC Silver belt – is rated at No1 in that weight class while his Mexican foe is two spots behind him. The winner of this contest will bag rights to face Ken Shiro, as the Japanese world champion is also known in boxing. 

Budler's trainer Colin Nathan explained that being No1 in WBC ratings does not necessarily mean that the boxer automatically qualifies to challenge for a title. 

“The WBC orders elimination fights and this is exactly what it has done to Hekkie,” he said.

Budler – who has held many world titles including the IBO, WBA Super and IBF – earned the top rating with the WBC after winning its Silver title on May 22 last year. He overcame tough-as-teak Filipino Jonathan Almacen at Booysens Gym.

“This major announcement comes as a result of my sleepless nights; I have been working very hard for the past five weeks trying to get this going,” said Nathan. 

“Now it is official.”

It will be the first time for Nathan to have a fighter being involved in a WBC elimination fight. “This is a massive development for my company – No Doubt Management – and again another major fight to be fought for by boxer from my company.

All major fights in South Africa in this new era – except for Zolani Tete v Thabiso Mchunu – have involved fighters from my company.”

The 33-year-old Budler from Newlands in the west of Johannesburg has 33 wins in 37 fights, while his 25-year-old foe from Mexico – a former WBO champion – has won 19 of his 21 contests.

"I am amazed and very happy to get this opportunity. I am actually blessed to have Colin in my corner. It’s going be a hard tough fight, I know that guy, but I will be ready for it,” Budler said.

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