Advertisement
Advertisement
Boxingscene.com

Trainer: When Hekkie Budler Went To 108 - The Fire Was Back

Colin Nathan calls Hekkie Budler his masterpiece.

And with good reason.

When Budler first walked into his gym as a callow youngster 12 years ago, he seemed ordinary. He was busy and keen, but his defence was all over the place and he was tiny.

What Grabbed Nathan was the fire in the youngster’s belly, his fierce will and his determination to get better.

hekkie-budler_3

Last weekend, their long association reached its crescendo when Budler toppled Ryoichi Taguchi in Japan to annex the WBA, IBF and Ring Magazine light-flyweight belts. It was a staggering achievement, against all odds.

“I always had faith, even when the chips were down,” said Nathan, who was in Budler’s corner the night he copped his first loss, against Gideon Buthelezi in 2011. “I always said he had much more to achieve. I knew he would be a world champion. I have long wanted to produce an African superstar . . . if Hekkie’s not that, he’s certainly close. I’ve taken a very good fighter and, working together, he’s become potentially great.”

Budler’s world appeared to come crashing down when he lost to little-known Byron Rojas two years ago. He was flat that night, boxing well within himself, just when the world at large was beginning to talk about him.

Turns out making the weight was killing Budler.

“In camp I realised Hekkie wasn’t healthy at 105 pounds, he wasn’t the Hekkie I know,” said Nathan. “But when he moved up to 108, the fire was back.”

Nathan said that it was no disgrace to move up, especially with smaller fighters and the health issues that can arise if a fighter constantly drains himself.

Winning two organisation belts was huge, but from the outset of his career, Budler had spoken of his desire to claim The Ring Magazine belt, something that just a single South African has done before – Vic Toweel in 1950.

He now has that honour, which places him in the pantheon of SA boxing greats.

The triumph was also a singular honour for Nathan, the SA trainer of the year. It would be a shock if he doesn’t do the double after engineering this remarkable win, easily the most significant of his career as a cornerman. It was, in many ways, a coming of age for Nathan, who has always yearned for big fights.

There appear to be multiple options for Budler, who could easily make a voluntary defence, although a big-money rematch in Japan might be the most appealing immediate option.

There’s also talk of IBF mini-flyweight champion Hiroto Kyoguchi moving up, which could make for an excellent bout.

Given that Budler now has a growing following in Japan, there may even be value in a unification fight against WBC kingpin Ken Shiro.

“Things have opened up and we’ll listen to all offers,” said Nathan. “We will happily go back to Asia so long as we have honest judges. That’s all I ask.”

Tags: Hekkie Budler image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment - View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Photos: Shawn Porter Putting in Work For Danny Garcia Eddie Gomez Signs With Split-T Management Kubrat Pulev Claims To Be Free, Parts Ways With Team Sauerland Carl Frampton, Luke Jackson Go Face To Face at Final Presser Mladen Miljas Inks Promotional Pact With Greg Cohen Joshua Ordered By WBO To Make Mandatory After Povetkin McCrory Believes Tyson Fury Was Victim of a Press Campaign Warren: Real Answer Is Joshua's Team Doesn't Want Wilder Fight De La Hoya: GGG's Mexican Style A Gimmick; Canelo's Fans Loyal Doheny Upsets Iwasa; Wins Unanimous Decision, IBF Title Haye Backs Tyson Fury: I Hope He Gets Back To Former Glory Luke Jackson Very Confident: Boxing Has Been My Parents! Cummings Insists He Can Reach The Top, No Excuses For Defeat Tyson Fury: I Have To Raise My Game To Win a World Title De La Hoya: Canelo Beat Golovkin 115-113, GGG Can't Adjust! Doheny: Iwasa May Have Reach Advantage, But I Have The Power Rosales vs. Barnes and The Ongoing Flyweight Reset De La Hoya: Hopkins Will Cheer Canelo To Derail Record Attempt Jesus Rojas May Face Can Xu in Year-End Title Defense Yunier Dorticos Still Wants Revenge on Gassiev, Plots Return Canelo: I'll Look to KO Golovkin From Very First Round of Rematch Oleksandr Teslenko, Nicholson, Ivan Golub in Action in AC Devin Haney vs. Juan Carlos Burgos on September 28, ShoBox Photos: Bryant Jennings, Hart, Dimitrenko, Stevenson - Workouts Photos: Juan Francisco Estrada Grinds Hard For Superfly 3 Photos: Jayson Velez, Orlando Cruz - Go Face To Face De La Hoya Not Concerned Clenbuterol Will Taint Canelo's Legacy Photos: Frampton, Fury, Jackson, Pianeta - Open Workouts Devin Haney Obtains Promoter's License in California Carl Frampton Insists That He Has Learned From Past Mistakes Carlos Negron Inks Managerial With King Kong Boxing Bellew: I'm Chasing Greatness, Usyk Fight is Looking Likely Now Fury: I'm Still The Same Old G, I Want To Smash Wilder's Face In! Photos: Tyson Fury Looking Very Slim at Open Workout Antonio Tarver Arrested For Domestic Battery in Florida Abel Sanchez: No Beef? I Hope Canelo Stopped Eating Duck Too! Frank Warren: Fury-Wilder Winner Is World's Best Heavyweight Granados: Garcia Wouldn't KO Me, Either; Would Need Judges' Gift Tyson Fury: Let's Face It, Wilder Hasn't Really Fought Anybody Quigg: If Frampton Faces Warrington - Winner Has To Fight Me!
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement