Hekkie Budler Defends Against Khonco on September 19

Hekkie Budler will defend his WBA and IBO minimumweight titles against Simphiwe Khonco on September 19.

The two South Africans will clash at Emperors Palace near Kempton Park in a Golden Gloves Promotions tournament that includes a bout between unbeaten super-lightweight Paul Kamanga and Jason Bedeman.

Light-heavyweight Ryno Liebenberg will fight Makhosandile Zwengu for the vacant SA title on the undercard.

Budler, chasing his twelfth successive win, is rated as South Africa’s best boxer, pound for pound. It will be his first fight against another South African since he beat Nkosinathi Joyi in a classic encounter in June 2013.

Khonco is among the top ten on the WBA’s rankings list and has a dangerous left hook.

Kamanga, who was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, faces a tough opponent. Bedeman has won 18 of his 23 professional fights – 15 inside the distance.

Liebenberg, who lost on a split decision to Tommy Oosthuizen in March, will be eager to improve his record, which now stands at 16-2, including 11 knockouts.

Roman Zhailauov, an unbeaten junior welterweight from Kazakhstan, will return to South Africa to take on Thompson Mokwana, a 31-fight veteran.

Seven-time Irish amateur champion Gary Sweeney will make his professional debut in South Africa, fighting in the cruiserweight division. Sweeney has been training in Marbella, Spain, but will team up with local trainer Colin Nathan a fortnight before the tournament.

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