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Boxing | South Africa

Hekkie Budler © Gallo Images

Hekkie tops bill at the Palace

Hekkie Budler will defend his IBO strawweight title in the main bout of the tournament at Emperors Palace, near Kempton Park, on February 16.

The South African is scheduled to fight Renan Trongco of the Philippines.

Golden Gloves spokesman Brian Mitchell announced details of the tournament on Thursday.

With the proposed WBC "World Cup" series still in an embryo stage and the launch of an intercontinental event held over, Budler's defence has been elevated to top the "Danger Zone" bill.

The IBO has sanctioned the fight even though the challenger is only 27th on the organisation’s strawweight rankings list and only fifth in the Philippines.

The bout should be no more than a warm-up for Budler, who is chasing more important titles, but the champion is not taking Trongco lightly.

The Philippines have a fine record of producing top-class boxers and Budler, who has lost only once in 20 professional bouts, said on Thursday he won’t underrate the Filipino.

Ryno Liebernberg is set to face Flash Issaka of Ghana on the same bill. They will fight for the IBO's all-Africa light-heavyweight title.

Liebenberg is also being groomed for bigger things and has an opportunity to enhance his reputation.

"Every time I go into the ring, it's the most important fight of my career. This one is no exception," Liebenberg said.

The opening bout is a lightweight contest between Thompson Mokwana and Matias Gomez of Argentina.

Another South African, Ilunga Makabu, will fight Georgia's Gogito Gorgiladze for the IBF cruiserweight youth title and Kevin Lerena is matched with Javier Corrales of Paraguay in a catchweight bout.


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