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Bumper bill at Emperors Palace

By Ron Jackson

Promoter Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves Promotions has put together one of his most exciting bills in recent years when he presents three IBO world, and one IBO Africa title fights at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park, near Johannesburg, South Africa, on Saturday night. The main attraction will be Hekkie Budler’s defence of his IBO junior flyweight belt against Filipino Juanito Rubillar (48-14-7, 23 KOs) in a return match after his highly disputed points decision over Rubillar in February this year to win the vacant belt. Budler (15-0, 5 KOs) is a gutsy little fighter and one gets the feeling that he can pull it off this time without any controversy.

In a difficult match to pick a winner Isaac Chilembe (14-1, 5 KOs) from Malawi faces Michael Bolling (12-0, 10 KOs) from Australia in a clash for the vacant IBO super middleweight belt.

Chilembe came in as a late replacement when Tommy Oosthuizen was injured in a motor accident.

Bolling who comes into the fight with the reputation of knockout power in his southpaw left hand must be a slight favourite as the well muscled Chilembe who has been fighting at light heavyweight will have to pull off at least 3 kilograms to make the super middleweight limit.

The former South African and WBO Africa mini flyweight champion Gideon Buthelezi (9-2, 4 KOs) surprisingly gets a crack at the vacant IBO strawweight belt when he meets Ronelle Ferreras of the Philippines who has a reported record of (8-3-1, 3 KOs).

The belt became vacant when Nkosinathi Joyi won the IBF mini flyweight belt and one must question the IBO sanctioning of the fight for the vacant belt when in their June rankings Buthelezi is ranked at number 21 and Ferreras at number 44.

Their rankings are also questionable as Ferreras was beaten by wide margins in April this year against Wanheng Menayoyhin in a clash for the interim WBC International minimumweight title and in 2009 Buthelezi had easy inside the distance wins against Thobani Mbangeni and Nelson Mtshali who are by no means world beaters.

However, at this level the South African must be favourite to take the belt.

In what could be the fight of the night Jason Bedeman (11-0-2, 9 KOs) defends his IBO Africa lightweight belt against Bongani Dlamini who has a reported record of (6-1, 5 KOs).

Also on the bill will be Boxing SA Prospect of the Year, exciting junior heavyweight Florante Simba who will be hoping to make five inside the distance wins in a row when he faces Elvis Moyo.




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