Junior flyweight contender Hekkie Budler defeated Jonathan Almacen by unanimous decision Saturday night at Booysens Hall in his hometown of Johannesburg, South Africa.
Scores were 118-111, 118-111, and 117-111 for Budler, who improves to 33-4, 10 knockouts and won a vacant regional title belt.
Saturday night marked Budler’s first fight since his knockout loss to Hiroto Kyoguchi in December 2018. Budler would lose the WBA junior flyweight title to Kyoguchi that night.
The taller Budler was the aggressor from the opening bell, but it looked as though his timing was off as it took him a while to get into a rhythm. Almacen was able to counter with left uppercuts or left hooks to the head of Budler.
By round 5, Budler was in control, outboxing Almacen throughout much of the fight. Almacen was game, but Budler utilized his more-superior boxing skills to outbox Almacen throughout most of the fight.
“I missed on a few shots early on run the fight,” said Budler, who is trained by Colin Nathan and also held a world title belt at 105 pounds. “I was finally able to connect later in the fight. He’s a young fighter who came to fight. He was tough. He was a future in the division.”
Almacen, who resides in Manila, the Philippines, drops to 7-4-2, 2 KOs.
Another fighter trained by Nathan was also victorious on the Uppercut Promotions card.
Junior middleweight Tristan Truter (9-3, 6 KOs) of Boksburg broke down Wandile Ndlela, repeatedly battering him before the fight was stopped after round 4.
Ndlela (3-5, 2 KOs) was game early on, but his punch output dropped repeatedly after Truter repeatedly battered him in round 3. Truter attacked the body of Ndlela in round 4, forcing Ndlela to fight defensively. Ndlela winced in pain after Truter connected with each hook or right hand to the body, forcing him to not answer the bell for round 5.
Truter snapped a string back-to-back knockout losses to Boyd Allen and to Roarke Knapp.
Junior welterweight Hedda Wolmarans remained unbeaten, stopping Raider Muleba (3-12-1) of Thohoyandou at the end of round 2.
The southpaw Wolmarans battered Muleba from the opening bell. Wolmarans dropped Muleba with a right-left combination to the end. Towards the end of the fight, Wolmarans connected to the body, dropping Muleba to the canvas, where she remained as she was counted out.
Wolmarans improves to 6-0, 4 KOs.
Featherweight Itumeleng Tsholo stopped Gerald Titus (3-2, 2 KOs) at 2:15 of round 3 to improve to 3-0, 1 KO.