By Ronnie Nathanielsz
IBO strawweight champion Hekkie Budler of South Africa (21-1, 6 KO’s) is not underestimating Filipino southpaw Renan Trongco (12-3, 8 KO’s)despite Trongco’s low No.27ranking when they clash in a title fight in South Africa’s Emperors Palace on February 16.
In a card headlining what promoter Rodney Berman has termed “Danger Zone” Budler has told the South African media “I won’t be taking Trongco lightly. The Philippines have a great record for producing top-class boxers and we’ve seen some of them being underrated in the past but producing the goods at the cost of their opponents> Its not a mistake I intend to make.”
Some sectors of the media have said that Trongco “would seem to pose little danger for Budler” in the process criticizing the IBO stating once again the IBO has curiously sanctioned a title fight to feature a boxer who is only modestly ranked by the organization itself, with Trongco not only the 27th-listed challenger in the division, but also only the number five straw-weight in the Philippines.”
The media report said that under the circumstances,” it would seem the contest might be no more than a stepping stone for Budler, who is seeking more prestigious titles and recognition and was bubbling with enthusiasm at Thursday's announcement.”
Another report said the IBO straw-weight/minimum weight champion “is fit and firing” and is looking forweard to making a solid statement against Trongco.”
Budler was quoted as saying “This is a stepping stone. I want a big fight this year. There can be no missteps. I want to be one of the greats.”
Budler who has been working exceptionally hard in preparation for his second title defense said “I couldn’t be more ready than I am now. Sparring has been hard-crazy hard – but good. I’m veryu confident with my game.”