Hekkie “Hexecutioner” Budler added another feather in his cap by being crowned the new International Boxing Organisation (IBO) junior flyweight champion here last night.
This came after he stopped Joey Canoy of the Philippines in the eighth round to lift the championship belt that was vacant.
Referee Tony Nyangiwe stopped the proceedings in the beginning of the eighth round after Canoy refused to come out of his corner to resume fighting.
The bout got off to a frenetic pace with both sluggers exchanging heavy leather from the first three rounds that saw the Hexecutioner catching Canoy with straight right hooks.
However, Canoy, who fought from the southpaw stance, retaliated with telling body shots.
Budler, making his 24th appearance at Emperors Palace amid a loud cheer from vociferous fans, connected with telling shots in the fifth.
The visitor answered with crisp bombs to the body, but the South African upped the ante by landing more bombs.
With blood coming from his upper right eye as a result of a head butt, Budler dropped Canoy with a telling right body shot, only for the visitor to beat the count.
At this stage, Budler came out fiercely and gave it his all against a clearly tired and out-of-sorts Canoy, who relied on holding as he was under sever attack.
The seventh round signalled a renewed vigour for Budler as he caught a dishevelled Canoy at will with some great bombs – much to the delight and approval of fans.
It came as no surprise when Canoy refused to get up from his corner in the eighth, resulting in the bout being halted to save him from further punishment.
Budler has now stretched his record to 31 wins and two losses in 33 outings.
His trainer, Collin Nathan, said afterwards: “Hekkie will make one more title defence and challenge for the title of one of the big world sanctioning bodies.”
. In another fight, Thulani “Evolution” Mbenge stretched his unbeaten record to nine fights by stopping Ntuthuko Memela in the third of the eight-round welterweight contest.
Memela, who fights out of Gauteng, controlled the fight from the start as he unsettled his KwaZulu-Natal opponent with straight shots.
He followed straight shot and the referee Ben Ncapai intervened to halt the proceedings in the 56th second of the third round.
. In the first bout of the evening, Rowan Campbell of Gauteng knocked out Limpopo’s Fhulufhelo Ramaliba in the first round of their scheduled four-round light-heavyweight contest.
Campbell caught Ramaliba with a powerful left body shot earlier, but Ramaliba beat the count.
Campbell followed with another fierce left body shot that sent his foe crashing to the canvas and referee Ben Ncapai stepped in to count Ramaliba out.
Campbell improved his record to two wins.