Hekkie Budler’s long-awaited unification fight looks like a done deal!
The WBA and IBO minimumweight champion has played a waiting game with IBF titleholder Katsunari Takayama (28-7), but finally the Japanese has agreed to a November date.
It promises to be a massive showdown for Budler, the division’s number one, who has chased Takayama down for this opportunity. Unfortunately, the possibility of dueling for four title belts disappeared when Takayama recently vacated his WBO belt. He is also a former holder of the WBC belt.
However, the IBF version carries great cachet and would doubtless affirm Budler’s status as the division’s main man.
Promoter Rodney Berman has a November 6 date in Monte Carlo, a city in which Budler has enjoyed great success. He’s had three wins on the bounce and ingratiated himself with the local populace on account of his exciting style.
Said Berman: “We’ve chased and chased Takayama. Now we finally have him. To be fair, he had also thrown out a few challenges on social media, so he’s a very willing participant.”
The only potential impediment at this stage could be Takayama’s next fight, a defence again Fahlan Sakkreerin next month. The Thai appears unthreatening, but strange things happen in boxing.
Of course, Budler must also be successful in his June outing, a voluntary defence.