If you think Hekkie “The Hexecutioner” Budler is a unique fighter, take note – his success is a model of the late Charlie “Silver Assassin” Weir’s.
Budler is the current World Boxing Organisation and International Boxing Federation minimumweight champion.
Weir was a charismatic boxer who held the South African middleweight title in the 1980s and captivated fans with his inimitable style. He died of cancer in 1992.
Although their weight divisions differ, the fighters have a lot in common – particularly their orthodox boxing style with devastating right hooks and the kind of charisma that’s always a hit with fans.
Budler is recognisable by his bright blue hair, while Weir had a streak of white in his black hair. The flamboyance of both boxers is obvious, and is a major draw card.
Budler is the darling of Emperors Palace in Kempton Park, a venue at which his fights invariably attract massive crowds. This was demonstrated last Saturday when he beat Simphiwe Khonco by unanimous points decision in defence of his crowns.
Weir used to pack Ellis Park and the Rand Stadium whenever he was in action.
The killer instinct and aggressive style of both boxers has provided enviable records for each of them, with both having regularly won their fights inside the distance (both have impressive KO records).
Boxing promoters are always on the lookout for dazzling pugilists who will draw crowds and knock out their foes.
Fighters like the Silver Assassin and The Hexecutioner fit the bill perfectly.
It has been more than 23 years since South African boxing legend Weir passed away.
Although he lost to American Davey Moore in a World Boxing Association super middleweight title fight at Ellis Park in 1982, his great approach to the sport will remain etched in local boxing’s history books.
He chalked up a record of 31 wins and three defeats in 34 bouts.
Budler, who is unbeaten in 29 starts, will do well to surpass the older legend, and certainly looks set to do so.