By Mesuli Zifo
THE odds may be heavily stacked against him but South African underdog Gideon Buthelezi is confident of dethroning WBC junior flyweight champion Adrian Hernandez when they clash at Faro Polanco in Mexico City, Mexico next Saturday.
Buthelezi who will oppose Hernandez in a voluntary challenge was handpicked by the Mexican camp because of his seemingly low risk status reflected by his fight record of just 12 wins and two losses, with only four stoppages.
In comparison Hernandez has lost just once in 23 bouts, scoring 13 knockouts.
Although Buthelezi is a dual IBO champion having also won the title in the mini-flyweight division in addition to the IBO crown he currently holds in the junior flyweight division, the 25-year old southpaw is yet to establish himself at the world stage.
Buthelezi annexed his second world title when he beat his compatriot Hekkie Budler by a razor-thin split decision for the IBO junior flyweight title this past January. And Budler’s credential as a world class fighter are next to nothing, yet Buthelezi went life and death with him before escaping with a decision that might have gone either way.
The victory earned him the sixth spot in the WBC ratings and influenced the Hernandez camp to choose him as the voluntary challenger with the behest of the WBC.
While all these pointers suggest that Buthelezi will enter the ring as some sort of a sacrificial lamb, the fighter is predicting nothing short of an emphatic victory in Mexico.
“I know they are taking me lightly because of my fight record but that is precisely where they are making the mistake,” he said.
Buthelezi who likes boxing on the back-foot while making his opponent miss, expects Hernandez to be aggressive in a typical Mexican boxers and believes that he will be tailor-made for him.
However he is also aware that the judges may appreciate aggressive style than counter- punching which Buthelezi heavily relies on.
“ We know what to expect in Mexico and we have designed a perfect game plan to succeed,” he said.
To prepare himself for the task at hand, Buthelezi travelled to Mexico with his stablemate Simpiwe Vetyeka in July when Vetyeka beat Giovani Caro in a WBC junior featherweight title eliminator.
Buthelezi left for Mexico on Thursday this week in order to acclimatize.