Budler to face Argentinian
Hekkie Budler (Gallo Images)
Johannesburg - IBO strawweight champion Hekkie Budler, seeking one of boxing's more prestigious titles, will meet relatively untried Argentinian Hugo Verchelli at Emperors Palace in Johannesburg on November 9.
The tournament will also feature IBO super-middleweight champion Tommy Oosthuizen.
The winner of the Budler-Verchelli bout, according to promoter Rodney Berman, will be in line for a tilt at the WBA title currently held by Japan's Ryo Miyazaki.
While the 24-year-old Verchelli is rated ninth by the IBF, 10th by the WBC and 11th by the WBA, he is relatively untried in the lightest weight division.
He has fought eight of his 12 fights against three little-known fellow-Argentinians.
Verchelli's only defeat was against Elias David Coronet, who he has beaten three times. He has also secured two victories against both Fabian Hernan Claro and Fernando David Alaniz.
His only victory against a fighter ranked among the top 50 strawweights by the IBO was against another Argentinian, Daniel Mendoza.
However, Budler's trainer Colin Nathan said on Tuesday that Verchelli was highly rated in Argentina and should not be underrated.
"You don't get recognition from three bodies like the IBF, the WBC and the WBA for no good reason," Nathan said.
"We are preparing for a dangerous opponent and taking no chance of slipping up before we get a chance of fighting for the WBA crown."
Unlike Budler, who is now widely recognised as one of the top strawweights in the world, Oosthuizen needs to redeem himself against Argentinian Ezequiel Maderna while defending his IBO title.
Oosthuizen fired blanks in his last fight against Mexican-American Brandon Gonzales in the US and most onlookers suggested he was lucky to receive a draw.
"Everybody is entitled to have one bad fight and it will be a different Oosthuizen the fans will see against Maderna," said trainer Harold Volbrecht.