Budler, Lerena on Emperor’s card

THE little great man of boxing in South Africa, Hekkie Budler, will be starting his new year with a handful after he signed up to take on Joey Canoy of the Philippines, for the vacant IBO light flyweight crown.

Thunder and Lightning will be the first boxing tournament of the year presented by Golden Gloves Boxing Promoters, in conjunction with Emperors Palace on Saturday February 4.

An exciting card has been compiled by the Golden Gloves matchmaker Ruben Rasodi, who always has the tendency to line up a feast for pugilist fans.

The former IBO and WBA straw weight champion, Budler will be challenging the Philippine, Canoy, to capture yet another belt. Budler took his chances and beat Siyabonga Siyo comfortably in this weight, at the end of 2016. Training well over the December holidays, he’s already in good shape and his aim will be to dominate in the light flyweight division – and add another title to his collection.

Featuring in the main bout of the evening is crowd puller, Kevin Lerena, who’s opted to have a go at Namibia’s Vikapita Meroro. The big Namibian has mixed with big names like Isaac Chilemba, Dmitry Kudryashov and Juergen Braehmer in the Cruiserweight division.

Lerena has it all to fight for in the light of the WBC Silver belt that is at stake. Promoter Rodney Berman has secured an agreement with the WBC president, Mauro Sulaiman, who’s given his commitment to clear the way for the title to be on the line.

Lerena, who has a record of 17 fights, 16 wins, one loss and 8 KO’s to his name, is in the top 15 group in the WBC and top ten in the WBO. He’ll be leaving for the USA after the February 4 bout, to fight on a Banner Promotions bill in America; probably in late March.

Ryno Liebenberg will be back at Emperors for the upcoming card – in the light heavyweight division against Enrico Koelling from Germany.

The popular Liebenberg will have his work cut out against Koelling, who’s fought 23 times for 22 wins – 6 KO’s – and one loss.

Top prospects Thulani Mbenge – who’ll fight Ntuthuko Memela – and light heavyweight aspirant Rowan Campbell, will also feature. Campbell will be looking for win number two, against Fhulufhelo Ramaliba of Limpopo.

To book your seat, contact Jeff Ellis on 078 457 3030.

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Annette van Schalkwyk
Sports journalist

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