By Ron Jackson
Hekkie Budler stopped Hugo Verchelli in the fourth round to retain his IBO strawweight belt and also claim the WBA interim minimumweight belt at Emperors Palace near Kempton Park on Saturday night Saturday night on a Golden Gloves Promotion.
In the co-feature, Tommy Oosthuizen failed to impress as he retained the IBO super-middleweight belt for the seventh time with a hard-earned 12 round majority points decision over Ezequiel Maderna. Judges Stan Christodoulou (South Africa) and Benoit Roussel (Canada) scored it 116-112 and 117-111 and judge Dave Parris (United Kingdom) had it 114-114.
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In an outstanding performance Budler (47.46kg) knocked Verchelli (47.26kg) down three times in the fourth round before referee Stanley Christodoulou waved the fight off in terms of the three-knockdown rule at 2 minutes 29 seconds into the round. This was Budler’s fourth successful defence.
Budler who has improved in leaps and bounds in his last three fights came out fast at the bell and backed up his opponent as he whipped in stinging lefts and rights to the head and body, not allowing Verchelli to get into the fight for the first three rounds.
In the fourth round a straight left to the head dropped Verchelli to his haunches and on arising Budler never let him off the hook as he landed left and rights the body to send him down for a second time; and when he went down for the third time after another body attack the referee waved the fight off.
With this win Budler has now earned the right to challenge to challenge WBA champion Ryo Miyazaki 20-0-3; 11 of Japan.
Budler improves his record to 25-1, 7 KOs and Verchelli drops to 11-2, 6 KOs.
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Southpaw Oosthuizen (76.10kg) who battled to make the weight failed to impress as threw his punches from too far out and landed very few combinations throughout the fight. At times Maderna (76.18kg) from Argentina beat him to the punch but only did this in a few rounds and failed to sustain the pressure.
The South African bled from a bad gash on the bridge of his nose from the sixth round, but this was not a factor as he did enough to take the decision. Maderna saw his record drop to 20-2, 13 KOs and Oosthuizen improved to 25-2, 13 KOs.
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Junior lightweight: Koos Sibiya beat Thembani Hobyani on points over ten rounds.
Junior welterweight: Adam de Moor stopped Nkosinathi Tshinavhe in the first round.
Junior flyweight: Thabiso Moorosi and Thabang Ramagole drew over six rounds.
The tournament was presented by Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves Promotions.