The first of the major fights this Saturday was in Monaco as Thailand's Pigmy Kokietgym (52-7-2, 22) challenged South Africa's Hekkie Budler (26-1, 9) for the WBA Minimumweight title.
Pigmy, fighting in his second title fight, started slowly and it appeared clear that he was trying to figure out the taller, younger and faster looking champion. Unfortunately for Kokietgym he never really managed to get going and every time he had some success it was quickly neutralised by Budler who fired back every time he needed to.
The only real success Kokietgym had early on was landing counter right hands which Budler could see coming a mile away to avoid or take the sting away from the shots and a very low shot that seemed to hurt Budler more than anything else Pigmy landed.
Although he had had some limited success Kokietgym managed to pick it up in round 3 as he began to find a new gear and get to work on the champion, cutting the distance and unloading for the first time. It showed that Budler was there to be tagged and if a fighter could force him back Budler was poor on the back foot. It was clear however that Kokietgym lacked the pop needed to really force Budler back at will.
Kokietgym began round 4 as he had fought round 3 though at the end of the round an assault by Budler made him touch down. It swung the round from a 10-9 to Pigmy to a 10-8 to Budler.
The short success of Pigmy's seemed to come to a near instant end after the debatable knockdown and quickly Budler took control of the fight winning the 5th round with better boxing and aggression that seemed to begin to slow down the 32 year old Thai. From then on it was beginning to become more and more about Budler who won a competitive round 6 though began finding the body of the Thai with some notable consistency
It was the body shots of Budler that eventually dropped Pigmy in round 7, at the very end of the round. Pigmy managed to get up but the damage was done and Budler jumped on the Thai from the bell to start round 8, Budler, looking for the finish, dropped Pigmy twice more a he kept on a relentless assault that eventually saw Pigmy taking the count and concede the bout to the better fighter.
Although it was a brave effort from the Thai it was clear the fighters were in different leagues. Interestingly however this moves a possible showdown between Budler and Katsunari Takayama one step further. If Takayama can over-come Francisco Rodriguez Jr in August there seems to be plans to match the two in October, possibly in Monaco on a show very similar to this one.
Interestingly this fight was televised in the UK on Boxnation. It was their first ever fight at 105lbs and hopefully it will lead to more Minimumweight title fight being shown on the channel, hopefully including the aforementioned Takayama/Budler contest.
(Image courtesy of Golden Gloves)
World Title Results
Whether you like them or not World Titles add prestige to any bout as a result we've included the results of world title bouts in this special section.