2 minute read
18 Aug 2014
7:49 am

Top Golden Gloves drawcards on line – in Monte Carlo

Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman is putting his two current top drawcards on the line - but WBA and IBO strawweight champion Hekkie Budler and WBC Silver light-heavyweight champion Rayno Liebenberg will be fighting in Monte Carlo on October 25 and not South Africa.

Picture: AFP

Budler will be defending his titles against China’s former WBC champion, Xiong Zhao Zhong, while Liebenberg, fresh from his success over Russian Denis Grachev at Emperors Palace nine days ago, will come up against another unbeaten fighter in Canadian-based Colombian Eleider Alvarez.

Berman is a co-promoter of the tournament at the Salles des Etoiles in Monte Carlo, and a defeat for either Budler or Liebenberg on foreign soil would seriously dent their image and jeopardise the big plans Golden Gloves have for the two boxers.

The Golden Gloves promoter expressed confidence that his two trump cards would not only secure victories in Monte Carlo, but also enhance their image on the international scene.

“Hekkie has already fought in one of our tournaments in Monte Carlo and emerged an impressive winner,” said Berman.

“And he took to the venue like a duck to water. He cannot wait to demonstrate his prowess on a bill that will draw widespread attraction with four frontline bouts.”

Apart from his WBA and IBO belts, Budler is also ranked the number one strawweight in the world by Ring Magazine. Colin Nathan, who trains both Budler and Liebenberg, said his charges would be seeking new major objectives in Monte Carlo.

“Hekkie’s main objective is to become a unified champion in the strawweight division,” said Nathan.

“We tried to get a fight with Zhao Zhong when he was the WBC champion without any success. But now that he is attempting a comeback he has been more amenable to meeting Budler – and a victory over the Chinese boxer will be another stepping stone in the right direction.”

Unlike Budler, Liebenberg will be facing a fighter who is on the upgrade in Alvarez.

While Liebenberg is rated sixth by the WBC and Alvarez is at number 11, Ring Magazine ranks the Colombian among their top 10 light-heavyweights, with Liebenberg is not listed.

“What we are looking for is to get Rayno a shot at Adonis Stevenson’s WBC light-heavyweight title and a win over Alvarez will put him up there in the front of the queue to meet the renowned American champion,” said Nathan.