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Budler to face his hero Joyi

2013-03-19 20:17
Hekkie Budler (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Hekkie Budler will defend his IBO minimumweight title against former IBF champion Nkosinathi Joyi, in the midst of a rift between rival promoters.

Joyi, who for years before surrendering his IBF title last year in a shock defeat was considered South Africa's No 1 pound-for-pound fighter, has fought under the banner of Branco Milenkovic's Branco Sports Productions for almost his entire major career.

Without elaborating on how he had managed to secure the services of Joyi, a jubilant Rodney Berman, of Golden Gloves, revealed on Tuesday that the two fighters would be receiving the highest purses ever paid to two South African boxers at this weight level.

"Nkosinathi Joyi was my hero, and I expect I will go into the ring as the underdog," Budler said.

"I have long dreamt about being given the chance to meet him. He is not only a classy boxer, he has a killer punch as well.

"But I will do my damn best - and I truly believe that with all the effort I will put into this fight, I can beat him as well."

Between them, Joyi and Budler have fought 45 times, with each suffering a solitary defeat.

"Hekkie has a mountain to climb," said Budler's trainer, Colin Nathan, "but we will be working on a blueprint to beat Joyi.

"It has happened in the past and it can happen again."

Heading the undercard on the June 15 bill at Emperors Palace, which has been named 'The Final Reckoning', is another intriguing and even more controversial return match-up between South Africa's IBO junior-bantamweight champion Gideon Buthelezi and Filipino Edrin Dapudong.

Buthelezi was fortunate to have received a shock points verdict when he fought Dapudong for the IBO title at Emperors Palace last year.

The IBO called for a rematch and Buthelezi will now have the chance to show he is a worthy champion.

In another crowd-pleaser, Golden Gloves also announced a rematch between "big bangers" Rayno Liebenberg and Johnny Muller.

Read more on:    hekkie budler  |  nkosinathi joyi  |  boxing

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