By Ron Jackson
South Africa’s Hekkie Budler returned to action after being inactive since 31 December 2018 and added another belt to his collection when he beat Jonathan Almacen from the Philippines on a 12 round unanimous points decision, to win the vacant WBC Silver light flyweight title at the Booysens Hall in Johannesburg on Saturday night.
The scores 118-111 twice and 117-111.
In a slow start both fighters came out in the opening round sparring for openings, and it was difficult to separate them.
In rounds two and three the 33-year-old Budler (48, 70 kg) picked up the pace to score with his left jab and Almacen, 21, could have shaded the fourth.
In terms of the WBC scoring system the judges’ scorecards were announced after round four as 39-37 for Budler and 38-38 twice.
Budler made a good start in the fifth round and finished with a flurry of punches just before the bell and Almacen (48, 90 kg) possibly did enough to shade round number six.
Showing outstanding fitness after being out for so long Budler scored with good shots to the body and head through rounds seven and eight to lead with scores announced at 78-75, 77-75 and 78-74.
The more experienced Budler who is rated at No. 2 by the WBC finished strongly through to the final rounds and was a convincing winner against his lesser experienced opponent.
Budler improved his record to 33-4, 10 KOs, and Almacen’s record dropped to 7-4-2, 2 KOs.
Junior middleweight: Tristan Truter, W tko 5 against Wandile Ndele and in a woman’s lightweight bout Hedda Wolmarans stopped Raider Mulebu at 2 minutes 59 seconds into the second round.