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Hekkie Budler retires

Hekkie Budler (35-5, 11KO) announced his retirement this week. The South African fighter is only 35- years-old, but his trainer noticed signs of decline in his pupil during his last fight and suggested that he should retire to protect his health. Budler, who claims to have received several good offers, also felt he was no longer the same and decided to retire.

Budler made his professional debut in 2007. He fought a quarter of his fights away from home and showed his skills in a total of 8 different countries.

In 2014 he became the WBA minimumweight champion by defeating Karluis Diaz and made four successful title defenses, but in 2016 he suffered a surprise defeat by Byron Rojas. Budler then stepped up to light-flyweight, and in 2018 he surprised the world by defeating WBA, IBF unified champion Ryoichi Taguchi. His light-flyweight reign was ended by Hiroto Kyoguchi in the same year.

Two years ago, Budler earned himself a mandatory challenger position at the WBC thanks to a last round knockdown, but last year he was helpless against Kenshiro Teraji, and as it turned out, that was the last fight of his career.

Credit: Golden Gloves