By Lwazi Ndzobongo: South African boxing is filled with excitement due to the up coming fight between IBO strawweight champion Hekkie Budler and challenger Nkosinathi Joyi. The bout will be held at Emperors Palance on Saturday the 15th of June 2013.
Social media networks in the country have been abuzz since the announcement of the fight which pits together our two best small men. The interest in the fight has been more than even the promoter, Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves Promotions would have envisioned and has caught the attention of the boxing public to such extents that its being billed the biggest fight in the country of the modern era.
Final reckoning as the bill is called has revived South African boxing, lately fans have been discouraged by the sub-par bouts put together locally and have had nothing of major interest in a long time.
The two combatants have earned their stripes and proven themselves as genuine world beaters. Budler is the current IBO champ, former IBO junior flyweight champ and is ranked number 7 by the ring magazine. Joyi is a former South African mini-flyweight champ, former IBO and IBF strawweight champ, former number 1 pound for pound strawweight in the world and is currently ranked number 3 by the ring magazine.
Budler has a professional record of 22-1 with 6 short cut wins, his only loss coming from Gideon Buthelezi. He has beaten the likes of Juanito Rubillar, Michael Landero, Florante Condes and Renan Trongco, to name a few. Joyi has a 23-1-1 record with 16 wins inside the distance, his only loss was a 7th round knockout against Mario Rodriguez in Mexico. He has beaten Armando de la Cruz, Florante Condes, Raul Garcia and Katsunari Takayama, to name a few. They share a common opponent in Condes whom they both beat by points decision, Joyi in 2009 and Budler in 2012.
The 25 year old Budler has been a professional since July 2007, whilst 30 year old Joyi turned pro back in 2002. Budler has refined his style under trainer Colin Nathan, a whirlwind of a fighter in his young days, he has become more tactical and technical and has recently shown a much improved defence. He doesn’t have knockout power as shown by his 6 stoppage wins, he is young, has a big heart, speed, solid chin and he has a pleasing boxing style. The southpaw Joyi is a well rounded boxer, trained by Lennox Mpulampula, he has power and good boxing skills. He also has height and reach advantages over Budler and fought the better quality opposition over the years.