By Derek Bonnett: This week was all about the minimumweights in terms of world class boxing with implications upon the SecondsOut divisional rankings. In what is arguably the biggest upset of the year, Nicaragua’s Byron Rojas took the title from the highly regarded Hekkie Budler. Rojas had been on the SecondsOut radar for sometime as a lower echelon top ten contender. Video clips on YouTube revealed a busy work rate and solid fundamentals. However, Rojas had never been matched with someone like Budler. I smelled an upset, but went with the safe pick. The bout was narrowly scored, but there’s a new potential top-dog at 105 and some interesting bouts can unfold. With any luck, we may finally see Wanheng Menayothin in a unification bout.
Also in the division, Saul Juarez defeated Osvaldo Novoa to set the record straight after their first round technical draw due to a Novoa cut which ended the contest forty-two seconds into the bout. Juarez, previously rated by SecondsOut as a flyweight for his back to back victories over Adrian Hernandez, dropped two weight classes for a likely WBC title bout. Juarez previously lost to current IBF titlist Jose Argumendo, who won his belt with a big upset of Katsunari Takayama on the last day of 2015.
With Knockout CP Freshmart looking spectacular in his most recent defense over Carlos Buitrago and Kosei Tanaka looking highly vulnerable against Vic Saludar, the 105-pound class is looking mighty interesting without a universally recognized number one. Anything could happen and unlike other divisions, there is good reason to expect some major match-ups to unfold and some divisional shifts could take place.
SecondsOut fighters On the Move:
On Saturday, March 19, at Emperors Palace, Kempton Park, Gauteng, South Africa, Byron Rojas upset Hekkie Budler by unanimous decision in a twelve round WBA minimumweight title bout. Rojas, of Nicaragua, earned scores of 115-113 across the board. Rojas captured his first world championship and raised his record to 17-2-3 (8). Budler fell to 29-2-0 (9).
Rojas catapulted himself from tenth to first in the SecondsOut minimumweight rankings. Budler fell from first to third.
Also on the his date, at Toluca, México, Mexico, Saul Juarez defeated Oswaldo Novoa by unanimous decision in a ten round minimumweight bout. Juarez lost one point in round nine, but took home scores of 98-91, 97-92, and 94-91. Juarez raised his record to 23-4-1 (12). Novoa, a former world champion, fell to 14-7-3 (9).
Juarez checked into the SecondsOut minimumweight rankings at number eight. Carlos Buitrago and Vic Saludar fell to ninth and tenth respectively. Chao Zhong Xiong exited the top ten for the time being.
SecondsOut ranked fighters in action through Sunday, March 27, 2016:
Friday 25 March 2016
Buffalo Run Casino, Miami, Oklahoma, USA
television: USA Showtime
10 Super Welterweight Willie Nelson 24 2 1 (14) vs. Marcus Willis 16 4 2 (4)
Saturday 26 March 2016
Sheffield Arena, Sheffield, Yorkshire, United Kingdom
television: United Kingdom SKY, Panama RPC Channel 4,
12 Welterweight Kell Brook 35 0 0 (24) vs. Kevin Bizier 25 2 0 (17) IBF World welterweight title
Wembley Arena, Wembley, London, United Kingdom
television: United Kingdom Channel 5
12 Middleweight Nick Blackwell 19 3 1 (8) vs. Chris Eubank Jr. 21 1 0 (16)
Oracle Arena, Oakland, California, USA
television: USA HBO
12 Light Heavyweight Andre Ward 28 0 0(15) vs. Sullivan Barrera 17 0 0
For a more in depth look at Derek Bonnett’s SecondsOut world rankings: