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 Charlo vs. Monroe, Charlo vs. Harrison - Finalized For 12/22 Kell Brook Keeps Tight-Lipped on Talk of Dominic Ingle Split Michael Conlan Pumped To Fight on Same Card as Carl Frampton Cornflake LaManna vs. Mike Arnaoutis on November 16 LeShawn Rodriguez Aims To Impress on Facebook Watch Card Khabib Holds Talks in Moscow, Hoping For Mayweather Fight Martin Murray Added To Josh Warrington-Carl Frampton Card Josh Taylor vs. Ryan Martin - Undercard Update Jaime Munguia Will Make Defense in December or January DiBella: Hunger Will Separate Derevyanchenko From Jacobs Hearn: Only Way Fury Beats Wilder Is To Bore Pants Off Everyone Callum Johnson Talks Beterbiev, Badou Jack, European Title Shot Mundine Vows To Sit if Anthem is Played Before Horn Fight Brian Rose Aims To Stop The Run of Luke Keeler on Dec. 14 Fielding: If I Beat Canelo at MSG - I'll Be The New Face of Boxing! Canelo May Consider Remaining at Super Middleweight Gilberto Ramirez Training Hard For Jesse Hart Rematch Jose Zepeda Breaks Down, Stops Domicio Rondon in Seven Regis Prograis Explains Flanagan Pick, Only Wants Best Fights Loeffler: Canelo Needs Golovkin More Than GGG Needs Him! Julian Williams: Munguia is Green as Grass, I'll Never Get Him Malignaggi on McGregor Loss: He's Bigger P*ssy Than I Thought! Murata: I'm Not Good With Quick Feet Fighters, I Took a Beating Machado: Everyone Knows I'm Real WBA Champ, Not Gervonta Davis Tommy Fury, Tyson's Brother, Aims To Be a World Champion Anthony Yigit Warns Ivan Baranchyk To Expect To Get Shocked Brant's Promoter Says Murata Rematch is Real Possibility Neeco Macias vs. Jesus Soto Karass - Nov. 8, Golden Boy on ESPN Christopher Diaz is Back: November 24 in San Juan, Puerto Rico Canelo, Golden Boy Deal Extended By Four Fights, Says Gomez Photos: Hughie Fury Hits Sofia as Kubrat Pulev Clash Looms Photos: Sullivan Barrera, Seanie Monaghan - Putting in Work Hearn: How Can Mayweather Hold Back Davis From Making More Money? Hughie Fury Not Bothered By Likely Hostile Crowd in Sofia Michael Conlan Officially Added To Frampton-Warrington Card UK News: Tommy Fury Debut, Jack Brubaker, Bob Yalen Jake Ball Injured, Withdraws From Craig Richards Fight Pacquiao: I Want To Face Top PBC Fighters For Rest of Career Arsen Goulamirian Breaks Down, Stops Mark Flanagan in Nine Gloferson Ortizo Secures Split Nod Win Over Mario Esparza
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement