WBA and IBO strawweight champion Hekkie Budler successfully defended his titles after a unanimous 12-round decision over China’s Xiong Xhau Zhong in Monte Carlo. The first round at the Salle des Etoiles was fairly even and possibly shaded by the champion. It was in the second round that the bout exploded into action.
After Budler landed on the canvass courtesy of a push, the Chinese moved in for the kill and unleashed a ferocious left hook that sent the South African to the floor. One round later it was the 26-year old’s turn to show why he is known as The Hexecutioner. Budler’s overhand right felled the 32-year old from Kunming and after three rounds it was probably all square.
The remainder of the bout was relatively cagey although the man from Johannesburg shaded the better half of the remaining rounds and by the time the final bell sounded, Colin Nathan’s charge would have rightly expected to hear his name called out as the winner in Monaco.
Juan Manual Garcia Reyes scored the fight 114-112, as did Jean Francois Tupin, Judge Lahcen Oumghar scored it 118-108, all in favour of Budler.