Hekkie Budler understands the uphill climb he faces in his newest title problem.
The welcomed threat comes with the potential reward of being yet one more win away from historical past.
Kenshiro Teraji (21-1, 13KOs) is an awesome favourite to defend his lineal, WBC and WBA junior flyweight titles versus Budler (35-4, 11KOs). An upset will depart the visiting South African as a three-time titlist spanning two weight divisions.
Budler beforehand held the WBA strawweight title and was the unified WBA/IBF junior flyweight titlist. A victory on Monday at Ariake Area in Tokyo will give the 35-year-old his first WBC title, after which he would like to subsequent face WBO junior flyweight titlist Jonathan ‘Bomba’ Gonzalez. The attract of one other unification bout is enticing, although extra so with what would come on the different finish.
“No fighter from South Africa has received all 4 of the key titles (WBC, WBA, IBF, WBO),” Budler famous to BoxingScene.com. “I might like to be the primary and make that historical past for my nation.”
That line of pondering was why Budler reluctantly agreed to step other than a compulsory title problem versus Teraji earlier this 12 months.
The WBC was ready to order the combat however Budler and his crew—together with high coach Colin Nathan—agreed to permit Teraji to pursue a three-belt unification versus Puerto Rico’s Gonzalez (27-3-1, 14KOs). The combat was on account of happen April 8 however Gonzalez fell unwell and was compelled to withdraw. Teraji needed to accept late substitute Anthony Olascuaga, whom he stopped within the ninth spherical however was left to honor his WBC necessary title protection.
Teraji-Budler now comes with the WBC and WBA belts and lineal championship at stake. Gonzalez will put his WBO belt on the road versus Nicaragua’s Leyman Benavides on October 27 in Managua.
With a bit of luck, the winners will meet early subsequent 12 months.
“I do know I’ve to get previous Kenshiro Teraji first,” acknowledged Budler, who has received three in a row. “However what an honor it could be to go down within the historical past books like that.”
Jake Donovan is a senior author for BoxingScene.com. Twitter: @JakeNDaBox