Hekkie Budler blasts out Wichet Sengprakhon in 43 seconds, will face Kenshiro Teraji next
It took former Ring junior flyweight champ Hekkie Budler just 43 seconds to get rid of Wichet Sengprakhon at the Unisa Hall in Johannesburg, South Africa on Saturday night.
The fight was a tune up for his upcoming shot against current Ring and unified WBA/WBC champ, Kenshiro Teraji, which is tentatively scheduled for August.
Sengprakhon was a replacement for a replacement, with the biggest name on his record being current WBC strawweight titleholder, Panya Pradabsi, who stopped him in four.
Budler whacked Sengprakhon with a left hook to the ribs, immediately followed with the same punch perfectly delivered to the chin of the Thai fighter. He collapsed in a heap, rose on wobbly legs, and was stopped on his feet.
Budler, who is not known as a knockout artist, was asked whether he expected the quick finish. “We thought it would go a few rounds. I didn’t expect that. I touched him to the body and turned the left hook to the head.”
When asked about the possibility of becoming the only South African two-time Ring champion, Budler replied with enthusiasm. “It would be a great honor. I believe I can beat him. I love being the underdog.”
With the win, Budler moved to 35-4 and scored his eleventh knockout. Teraji is light years ahead of the overmatched Sengprakhon who drops to 14-12-1, but Budler who beat former WBO beltholder, Elwin Soto in June last year in Mexico, is known to score upsets on the road.
Former IBF strawweight champion, Deejay Kriel was scheduled to face Sandeep Kumar in the main supporting bout, but the fight had to be scrapped when Kumar failed to arrive in the country, citing visa troubles.
As a result, junior bantamweight Sikho Nqothole moved up a spot and delivered the performance of the night, knocking out his Thai opponent, Boonrueang Phayom in the first round.
Nqothole started off well, boxing behind his jab and establishing a rhythm. Midway through the round, a straight right to the body dropped his opponent. He got up but got dropped again by the same body punch. That lit a fire under Nqothole who went after him, a left hook to the chin putting his opponent on his back for the final time. The referee had seen enough and waved the fight over without a count at the 2:59 mark.
Nqothole improves his record to 17-2 with 11 knockouts while Phayom drops to 10-3.
Simangele Hadebe won a unanimous decision over another Thai opponent, Panaluk Khongsang in an eight-round female flyweight bout.
Hadebe circled her taller opponent and boxed well out of a crouch, bobbing and weaving under the visitor’s punches. She landed two crisp overhand rights over a rare jab from Khongsang at the end of the second round.
Khongsang kept pushing forward but she tended to load up on her punches and telegraph her shots. She had her best round in the third when she landed a chopping right of her own. Still, Hadebe managed to duck and dive out of the way while popping her with jabs and straight rights.
Khongsang also landed a good right uppercut to the body in the fifth but lacked the finesse to capitalize and was outhustled by Hadebe.
In the seventh, Hadebe showed why she is nicknamed “Smash” when she landed a big left hook-right hand combo that turned the head of Khongsang. The Thai came roaring back with a two-fisted attack, but her aggression was not effective, finding mostly air.
Hadebe boxed in cruise control in the eighth and the unanimous scores of 80-72, 78-74 and 79-75 in her favor came as no surprise. Hadebe moves to 13-3-2 with four knockouts while Khongsang drops to 11-12-1.
In another female bout, undefeated Hedda Wolmarans moved up to welterweight and easily dispatched Monalisa Simon (also known as Monalisa Sibanda) of Zimbabwe in three rounds.
Wolmarans knocked Simon down in the second round with a double straight left thrown from her southpaw stance. Simon got up and Wolmarans went after her banging in combinations to the head and body. A last-ditch flurry by Simon delayed the inevitable, allowing her to see out the round.
A straight left to the body in the third round crumbled Simon to her knees where she was counted out at the 0:24 mark.
The 40-year-old Simon drops to 6-10 and just didn’t have the talent or strength to compete with the local fighter.
Wolmarans, who is now 8-0 with five knockouts, has always checked the form book but her opponents have been frustrating. Only Ruth Chisale in her previous fight gave her a serious test. In that fight, Wolmarans edged a decision in an all-out war. A rematch was on the cards, but never happened when Chisale pulled out for better opportunities in Europe that never came.
In the opening bout, undefeated junior lightweight prospect Cayden Truter turned in a dominating performance, stopping Sandile Dumisa at the 2:25 mark of the second round.
Truter, who takes his record to 7-0 with six knockouts, dropped Dumisa with a chopping right in the second. Dumisa, who drops to 3-4, got up but took a sustained pummelling, forcing the referee to rescue him from his own bravery.
The card was presented by Larry Wainstein of Boxing 5 Promotions.