Gideon takes Hekkie's title
Johannesburg - Gideon Buthelezi won the IBF junior flyweight title when he beat Hekkie Budler on a split decision at Emperors Palace, Kempton Park, on Thursday night.
The scores were 118-114 and 115-113 for Buthelezi and 117-113 for Budler.
The judges found it as hard to score the fight as most of the spectators did. The new champion, who also holds the IBO strawweight title, spent most of the night back-pedalling but landed enough counterpunches to take the decision.
Buthelezi (48.98kg)won the first three rounds when he lured Budler (48.7kg) into a brawl. Budler then dug himself out of the hole but left himself open to the southpaw's left too often to take control.
During the middle rounds it seemed Buthelezi's weight problems before the Night of the Big Little Men tournament might have taken a toll. He backed off, with his mouth open, as Budler's work rate evened up matters.
Buthelezi had lost in two amateur bouts to Budler, but won the one that counted. Budler's record dropped to 17-1, with five knockouts as Buthelezi's improved to 12-2; 4.
The Box and Dine tournament in aid of four-time world champion "Baby Jake" Matlala was presented by Jeff Ellis of African Ring in conjunction with Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves Promotions.
It was marketed as the Big Little Men tournament, but the little men had their thunder stolen by heavyweight Flo Simba, who stopped a willing and able Sting Gondorenda in the fifth round.
The 21-year-old Zimbabwean, who is based in Johannesburg, is on his way to becoming the most valuable fighter in South Africa.
Gondorenda, a powerful and reasonably skillful boxer, gave the youngster a few anxious moments before he was nailed by an uppercut, soon followed by an overhand right.
Gondorenda took the count, got up and immediately lost his enthusiasm as Simba moved in. Referee Jaap van Nieuwenhuizen called it over at 2 minutes 10 seconds of the round.
Simba moved to 9-0 and Gondorenda dropped to 6-8; 4.
In another heavyweight bout, scheduled for six rounds and an early candidate for a Worst Fight of the Year nomination, Stephen Castle (5-2-2; 2) failed to come out for the fourth round after Elvis Moyo (1-3-1) had knocked him down twice in the third.
Castle claimed a rib injury, the result of a solid body shot from the Zimbabwean.
Lightweight Warren Joubert (16-2-2; 10) and Takalani Dangala (5-5-1; 2) drew over six rounds of a fight that could have gone Dangala's way without anyone complaining.
In a lightweight bout, Alexander Jonker stopped Charles Sekhwibidu in the second round. Prince Ndlovu stopped Gert Aries in the second round of a featherweight bout and lightweight Takalani Dangala drew with Warren Joubert over four.