Nick Gordon
1 minute read
31 Oct 2013
7:00 am

Hekkie fit for title defence

Nick Gordon

With a little over a week to go until Hekkie Budler defends his IBO minimumweight title, the pressure is being ramped up ever so slightly.

FILE PICTURE: Hekkie Budler. Picture: Neil McCartney.

The diminutive fighter will put his crown on the line for the fourth time when he meets Argentina’s Hugo Verchelli at Emperors Palace on November 9.

The fight is the co-main event on the “Fighting Force” bill alongside Tommy Oosthuizen’s IBO super-middleweight title defence against Ezequiel Maderna.

“The pressure’s on now because I think coming off a great win people’s expectations of Hekkie are up there,” Colin Nathan, who hones the champion’s skills, said yesterday.

He was referring to Budler’s last outing when he defied expectations with an impressive win over the highly-rated Nkosinathi Joyi back in June.

“It’s a different kind of pressure for us from that perspective. Hekkie’s opponent is no mug. He’s a southpaw and can punch a little with his left hand.

“There’s no room for error and every performance has to be breathtaking,” added Nathan.

Budler is confident of putting in another strong performance under the bright lights of the casino complex.

“The preparation’s been very good. We’ve been doing what we always do and that’s putting everything in,” said the 25-year-old who has only lost once in a career spanning 24 fights.

His South American opponent has featured in half the number of fights, has won 11, six of them via the short route, and has lost once.

“He’s a good fighter, a strong fighter but on the night I will be better. It’s my title and it’s going to stay here. I’m just going to pick up the extra belt,” he added referring to the WBA interim title that will also be on the line.