By Ron Jackson
IBO strawweight and IBO super middleweight champions Hekkie Budler and Thomas Oosthuizen will be defending their belts against imported opponents at Emperors Palace, near Kempton Park on November 9. Budler (23-1, 6 KOs) who is ranked at number three by the WBA has just come of an outstanding victory over the highly rated Nkosinathi Joyi. He will face Hugo Verchelli (11-1, 6 KOs) from Argentina who is ranked at number 31 by the IBO. Since suffering the only loss on his record in January 2012 Verchelli, 24, has won 7 fights with 5 coming inside the distance. It is rather surprising that the IBO only rank Verchelli at 31 when he is ranked at eleven by the WBA, ninth by the IBF and tenth by the WBC. This could be a tough one Budler and a win over the highly ranked Verchelli could see the 25-year-old Budler challenging Riyo Miyazaki 20-0-3, 11 KOs of Japan for the WBA strawweight belt.
IBO super-middleweight champion Tommy Oosthuizen (22-0-2, 13 KOs) will be hoping to impress after his lackluster performance in June this year when he fought to ten round draw against Brandon Gonzales. The 26–year-old Ezequiel Maderna (20-1, 13 KOs) also from Argentina who is ranked at number twelve by the IBO will be a true test for Oosthuizen. His only loss came against the unbeaten Edwin Rodriguez in Monte Carlo in March this year.
Rodriguez is scheduled to challenge the best super middleweight in the world Andre Ward for the WBA super middleweight belt on November 16 in Ontario, California.
The tournament will be presented by Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves Promotions.