Johannesburg - WBA and IBO champion Hekkie Budler heads the list of six South Africans who appear in Ring Magazine's authoritative world rankings this week.
The nuggety boxer, who cemented a widely-accepted status as the leading strawweight fighter in the world with his recent convincing points victory over China's former WBC champion Xiong Zhao Zhong in Monte Carlo, is Ring's number one contender for the vacant title in boxing's lightest weight division.
Ring also ranked IBF champion Zolani Tete as the number four junior bantamweight; Moruti Mthalane (flyweight) and Jeffrey Mathebula (junior featherweight) in number six positions; featherweight Simpiwe Vetyeka as the number seven featherweight contender and Thabiso Mchunu at number eight in the competitive cruiserweight division.
Although South African boxing is widely considered to be in the doldrums, with crowd attendances and interest a far cry from the past, the status accorded by Ring to the top six local fighters indicates there is little wrong with the standard of fighters.
This was further confirmed with Mthalane's impressive victory over highly-regarded Mexican Odilon Zaleta at the Durban Convention Centre three weeks ago.