Bitter-sweet for Budler

 

Ryouichi Taguchi has been mandated to defend his championship title against SA’s Hekkie Budler.

IBF and WBA junior-flyweight champion Ryoichi Taguchi has been mandated to defend his IBF belt against Hekkie Budler within 90 days of December 31 – but he must do so without Golden Gloves.

Believing Budler’s camp unilaterally negotiated with former champion Milan Melindo, Rodney Berman won’t be part of the negotiations.

After the controversy of Budler’s fight against Melindo, when the IBF acknowledged shortcomings by the fight officials, manager Colin Nathan independently petitioned IBF boss Daryl Peoples for a rematch, to Berman’s chagrin.

This ruling follows that negotiation with Berman justifiably believing he was left out the loop the first time and cannot summarily be expected to join the party at this late stage.

Nathan says he will negotiate on behalf of his fighter with a deal having to be thrashed out by February 3. If not, the IBF will call for a purse bid to determine who will promote the bout, when and where.

This leaves Budler (31-3) out on a limb given that only Golden Gloves could conceivably go up against the Japanese in a purse bid. He’ll likely have to travel to Taguchi’s back yard where no favours will be given.

Taguchi (26-2-2) is The Ring magazine champion while Budler is ranked sixth.