Elwin Soto to face Hekkie Budler in WBC eliminator on June 25
Junior flyweight contenders Elwin Soto and Hekkie Budler will square off on June 25, Zanfer Boxing announced.
The 12-round WBC world title elimination bout will take place at the Palenque del FEX in Soto’s hometown of Mexicali, Mexico and will likely air live throughout Mexico on TV Azteca.
The clash between Soto and Budler matches former world titleholders at 108 pounds in a crossroads bout. Both fighters are also ranked in the top-10 by The Ring, with Soto and Budler ranked No. 5 and 6, respectively.
Soto (19-2, 13 knockouts) last fought on October 16, losing by split-decision to Jonathan Gonzalez of Puerto Rico. With the loss to Gonzalez, Soto lost the WBO world junior flyweight title.
The 25-year-old Soto made three successful defenses of the WBO title he won from Angel Acosta of Puerto Rico in June 2019. He was losing on all three judges’ scorecards entering the 12th round, when Soto scored the knockout win.
Prior to the loss to Gonzalez, Soto had not lost since his third pro fight in February 2017.
Budler (33-4, 10 KOs), who resides in Johannesburg, South Africa, defeated Jonathan Almacen of the Philippines by unanimous decision in his last bout on May 22 of last year. The win over Almacen was Budler’s first fight since December 2018, when he was stopped by Hiroto Kyoguchi in the 11th round. Budler would lose the WBA Super junior flyweight title.
The 33-year-old also won a world title belt at 105 pounds, defeating Karluis Diaz by knockout in March 2014 to win the WBA title. He would make four successful defenses of the WBA world title before losing by unanimous decision to Byron Rojas in March 2016.
Other notable fights for Budler, who is managed by Colin Nathan, include a split-decision loss to Milan Melindo in September 2017 and a unanimous victory over Ryoichi Taguchi over eight months later.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at FSalazarBoxing