JOHANNESBURG – Hekkie Budler delivered a masterclass performance to capture his fourth world title when he defeated Joey Canoy via an eighth-round TKO at Emperors Palace on Saturday night.
The victory by the ‘Hexecutioner’ saw him crowned IBO junior flyweight champion after his Filipino opponent failed to respond to the bell at the start of the eighth round.
Budler had knocked Canoy down in the seventh round, and while the Filipino claimed he had been pushed, the referee gave him the standing eight count.
Budler took advantage of his opponent’s wobbly condition and pummelled Canoy as the round drew to an end. It was not surprising that Canoy did not respond to the bell, his corner realising he was not fit to continue.
While he was clearly ahead on points already, Budler had started somewhat slowly and allowed his opponent the space to throw punches from the outside, though most of them missed.
In the first round, Canoy caught Budler with a right hook and buckled him, but the South African got back to dominate the fight by getting in to close quarters and scoring with punches to the body.
Yet by the fifth round, Canoy had got Budler puffed up on the side of his right eye, and a few hooks in the following round saw the South African dripping blood from the cut.
The bleeding appeared to inspire Budler as he came out for the seventh round guns blazing, and a couple of hooks to the chin saw Canoy go down to the canvas.
And while he failed to finish him off, Budler had done enough damage to become world champion once again, adding the IBO junior flyweight belt to the WBA and IBA minimumweight titles, as well as the IBO light flyweight gongs he previously held.
Also on the show, cruiserweight contender Kevin Lerena (17-1, 9 KOs) stopped Vikapita Mororo (28-6) in five rounds of action.