By Jake Donovan
Promoter Rodney Berman's last adventure in Monaco saw bouts fall out in the weeks leading up to the event and a failed effort to produce U.S. television coverage.
This time around, all of the drama was limited to the scales, though averted by the end of the business day.
All fighters eventually made weight for Saturday's big show at
Casino de Monte Carlo Salle Medecin in Monte Carlo, Monaco, even if it meant a few fighters requiring a little extra effort to honor their contractrual obligations.
The main event pits Martin Murray and Max Bursak in a bout where the winner will be placed in queue for the rapidly growing list of challengers for newly minted middleweight king Miguel Cotto. Murray came in at a trim and ready 159 lb. for his third fight since coming up just short against Sergio Martinez in their middleweight championship last April in Argentina.
Bursak eventually squeezed into the middleweight limit, but not before showing up 1/2 lb. over the limit. The infraction at the scales resulted in a chorus of heckling from Murray's "Barmy Army" supporters, though he was able to shed the excess weight within the two hours granted.
Tags: Maksym Bursak , Mateusz Masternak , Martin Murray , Hekkie Budler
Strawweight titlist Hekkie Budler (25-1, 8KO) suffered a similar scare, though to a far less degree as he was able to fit the uniform for the first official defense of his title versus Thailand's Pigmy Kokietgym, who at 104.9 lb. made weight on his first try.
The 26-year old initially came in heavy, but after a brisk walk was able to check in at the 105 lb. limit for his first defense and first fight outside of his native South Africa.
A vacant cruiserweight title fight pits Matuesz Masternak of Poland against Congo's Youri Kalenga, with both fighters easily making weight. Masternak (32-1, 23KO) came in at 198.4 lb, well within the 200 lb. cruiserweight limit. Kalenga hit the scales at a chiseled 195.6 lb.
Both are fighting in their first title fight, even if of the interim variety.
In the opening bout of the international broadcast, Johnny Muller (16-3-2, 12KO) of South Africa faces Congo-born, France-based banger Doudou Ngumbu (32-5, 12KO) in a scheduled 10-round light heavyeweight bout. Muller came in at 174.5 lb, slightly heavier than Ngumbu who tipped the scales at a lean 174 lb.
Jake Donovan is the Managing Editor of BoxingScene.com, as well as a member of Transnational Boxing Ratings Board and the Boxing Writers Association of America. Twitter: