‘Hexecutioner’ ready to rumble
Budler will be slugging it out against Chinese opponent Xiong Zhao Zhong in what is likely to be a tough encounter.
But it is Budler who is taking precautionary measures ahead of what he believes will be the toughest bout of his career.
Why? He will be flying the South African flag high on the night in a must-win bout against the man who previously held the WBC diadem.
The 26-year-old Budler, who hails from Newlands, western Joburg, went through his paces during a gruelling training session at Hot Box Gym in Glenhazel, Joburg.
The way in which the champ, nicknamed “Hexecutioner”, connected those stinging left hooks on the punch bag and went through sparring under the watchful eye of his trainer Collin Nathan, proved the fighter is on a mission to put his Chinese opponent to sleep in early round.
“The fight against Zhong will be a make-or-break one for me because my opponent will be out to cause an upset,” said Budler during intervals at his work-out routine.
“I haven’t stopped coming to the gym ever since the fight was officially announced last month. My work rate has improved. I have also been connecting the jabs and hooks on the punching bag accurately. I can’t wait for the fight.”
Budler, who predicts a knockout win, believes victory will be a nice present as he will be tying the knot to his girlfriend Roxy Palm on November 1.
“We’ve been seeing each other for four years and she’s been very supportive of my career.
“We therefore decided to get married a week after my fight and hopefully I would have won by the time we celebrate our union,” said Budler.
He lost once in 2011 – to Gideon Buthelezi for the IBO junior flyweight title – in a career spanning 27 fights.
He won the then vacant IBO crown the same year after beating Filipino Michael Landero on points. Last November, he stopped Argentinian Hugo Hernan Verchelli on a fourth-round technical knockout for the IBO and WBA crowns.
Budler will make his second trip to Monaco this year after he beat Thai challenger Pigmy Kokietgym on an eighth-round knockout in his last bout in June. Zhong has compiled a record of 24 wins, five defeats and one draw in 30 paid fights.
See www.citypress.co.za for a gallery of Budler’s gym session
CHAMP Hekkie Budler during a training session at Hot Box Gym this week in preparation for his title defence in Monte Carlo