Hekkie Budler to challenge for three boxing titles in Japan

19 July 2023 - 10:19
By Bongani Magasela
Hekkie Budler will face Japans Kenshiro Teraji in Tokyo on September 18. File photo.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe Hekkie Budler will face Japans Kenshiro Teraji in Tokyo on September 18. File photo.

The long wait is over for whirlwind performer and most recognisable fighter Hekkie "Hexecutioner" Budler to challenge for the World Boxing Council (WBC), World Boxing Association (WBA) and The Ring magazine junior flyweight belts.

Successful trainer/manager Colin "Nomakanjani" Nathan announced today that his charge – who dyes his hair in rainbow colors when he fights – will face Japanese Kenshiro Teraji for those three titles in Tokyo, Japan, on September 18. 

He has been waiting for the approval to challenge for those three titles since June last year. Budler made himself eligible to challenge Teraji in the same month he won an elimination fight by defeating Elwin Soto in Mexico.

The approval to go for what will be his biggest boxing day since 2007 comes just when cynics had already written him off as being washed up at 35.

The deal which will see Budler become only the sixth SA fighter to challenge for the WBC belt was put together by Nathan's No Doubt Management and Teiken Boxing Promotion, which is the powerhouse in global boxing promotion.

Other South Africans who have fought for the most-sought-after green and gold WBC belt include Thulani "Sugar Boy" Malinga, Dingaan "The Rose of Soweto" Thobela, Vus'Umuzi "Marvelous" Malinga, Morgan Ndumo and Simpiwe "V12" Vetyeka. Only Thulani and Thobela succeeded. Coincidently, they both held the WBC super middleweight title.

"I am very happy to announce officially that Hekkie will be chasing legacy on September 18 in Japan," said Nathan who has produced more legitimate world boxing champions in this country than any other trainer in this era.

"It's a long-awaited shot at the title for Hex and we are looking at another legitimate world champion in South Africa."

Currently, Sivenathi "The Special One" Nontshinga is the only boxer who holds a prestigious world title throughout the African continent. The 24-year-old fighter from the Eastern Cape is the reigning International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior flyweight champion. He is also also under Nathan's guidance.

Budler has previously held the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) and WBA  minimumweight, IBO, WBA Super, IBF and The Ring Magazine junior flyweights. In his last title fight he won the WBC silver junior flyweight belt. Budler has won 35 of his 39 fights with 10 knockouts against four losses.