Cape Town - South Africa's Hekkie
Budler, the WBA and IBO minimumweight champion, made a successful title defence
against Mexico's Jesus Silvestre with an unanimous points decision on Saturday
night at Salle des Étoiles in Monte Carlo, Monaco.
It was Budler's third
consecutive appearance at the Monte Carlo venue and this victory stretched his
winning streak to 11 fights over a four-year period. The 26-year-old Budler,
ringnamed 'The Hexecutioner' improved his pro fight career record to 28 wins, 9
by knock-out, and 1 defeat.
The 25-year-old Silvestre's
record now stands at 30 wins, 22 by KO, and 6 defeats.
Although one of the three
judges gave Budler the verdict by six points the fight appeared far closer and
by the time the 12th and final round dawned it was not obviously clear who
would be the eventual winner.
As usual, Budler was a slow
starter and Silvestre looked like he had done enough to shade his opponent in
the first three rounds. In the second round, South African referee Stanley
Christodoulou penalised Silvestre for a low blow.
Over the next few rounds,
Budler relied on a strong counter-punching display to keep his hopes alive and
he appeared to be landing the more punches.
For most of the way, Budler
was forced on the back foot but his superb defence, coupled with timely bobbing
and weaving, saw him home throughout the middle rounds and with two rounds
remaining he looked like he had done enough to retain his titles, provided he
could stay out of trouble over the rest of the bout.
As the final two rounds
wound its course, both fighters stepped up their work rate appreciably but
Bulder proved to be the more accurate and smarter.