Hekkie Budler returns after a long layoff
Former unified light flyweight champion Hekkie “The Hexecutioner” Budler (32-4, 10ko) will be returning to the ring after a two-year hiatus. His first match back will be against Muhsin Kizota (11-2, 5ko).
The South African fighter’s return is part of a Human Rights Day Boxing tournament set to kick things off on March 20, 2021. Furthermore, the long layoff may have healed him mentally and physically. Budler was damaged goods after suffering a bad beating from his last fight against Hiroto Kyoguchi back on December 31, 2018.
A TOUGH ROAD TRAVELED
Depending on how some view the IBO championship status on the European level, the Hexecutioner could be considered a three-divisional champion. He held both IBO minimum and junior flyweight titles. However, he also captured the vacant WBA Minimumweight championship in 2014.
Budler went on to have four successful title defenses. The South African boxer, in a fifth title defense, would suffer a second career defeat at the hands of Byron Rojas in 2016. He quickly rebounded with two back-to-back victories and challenged Milan Melindo for the IBF junior flyweight championship in a hard-fought split decision defeat in September 2017.
In 2018, he would challenge the dominant unified champion, Ryoichi Taguchi. Here, he would be awarded the biggest victory of his career after twelve, hard-fought rounds. This was the career-defining moment of a lifetime for the newly crowned unified champion.
During an interview with 3kingsboxing, Budler explained why the celebration was short-lived. A disrespectfully low purse bid forced him to vacate the IBF championship instead of facing mandatory challenger Felix Alvarado. However, he would also lose the WBA championship after being stopped by a freight train in Kyoguchi. That was the last time the Hexecutioner was seen in the ring. Also, after taking a brutal beating, many felt it was time to hang up the gloves. The long layoff seems to have rejuvenated the South African fighter, as he is looking to return to the sport.
3kingsboxing was able to catch up to the former unified champion and he was full of excitement.
“These are trying times and the family is the why you just want to keep going. So happy that I’m fighting and praying things keep getting better.”
By: Garrisson Bland