There is nothing worse than a boxer who makes excuses after a loss. All one has to say is “the best man won” and that is generally that.
But excuses and explanations are not the same thing, as former WBA World minimumweight champion Hekkie Budler recently revealed.
Budler lost the title on March 19 to unheralded Byron Rojas in South Africa. Having suffered only a single loss in almost a decade, it was a defeat that no one expected, least of all “The Hexecutioner.”
“I boxed terribly,” said Budler. “I guess you have to have an off night, but I’m heartsore. Nothing worked…I don’t know what the problem was. I just couldn’t get into my rhythm.”
Some assumed, based on his trainer Colin Nathan’s suggestion that Budler should move up to light fly, that he had trouble making weight and was weakened as a result.
But Hekkie nixed that proposition.
“I actually make the weight easily,” he said. “Colin thinks I’ll be better at light fly. I’m prepared to give it a go.”
Rather than blame his trainer or weight, Budler shifted the conversation to praising Byron Rojas.
“He hits hard,” Budler said. “I just couldn’t handle him. He beat me fair and square. I feel I didn’t pitch up. I felt the same when I fought Gideon Buthelezi (to whom Budler lost in 2011). But this was really bad, nothing felt right.”
Budler is plotting his future. He is only 27. He is still a young man. He’s no more done with boxing than boxing is done with him.
Everyone has a bad night now and then. But not everyone is man enough to not make excuses.
This article was penned by the author who is not related to the WBA and the statements, expressions or opinions referenced herein are that of the author alone and not the WBA.