We've known for a while that former 2-weight world champion Hekkie Budler (32-4, 10) would be back in the ring on December 16th as part of card in Almaty to celebrate Kazakhstan's independence day. At the time however there was no opponent named for the popular "Hexecutioner".
We now know that Budler's opponent will be unbeaten Filipino fighter John Michael Zulueta (11-0-2, 4), who looks to build on an 11 fight string of wins against the likes of Arriston Aton and Cris Ganoza. Notable he has won all of his bouts following back to back draws in his first two bouts, but this is a huge step up and his first bout on international soil.
While the Budler will be the clear favourite it does need noting that he has been out of the ring since December last year, when he was stopped by Hiroto Kyoguchi, and has lost 2 of his last 3. Despite those issues he clearly has the edge in class, experience and skills, and will see this as a chance to build some confidence before another world title fight, potentially in early 2020 against WBC champion Kenshiro Teraji.
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