Former titleholders Elwin Soto and Hekkie Budler are set to meet on June 25 in Mexicali, Mexico, Zanfer Boxing have announced.
Soto (19-2, 13 KO) won the WBO junior flyweight title in 2019, scoring a controversial 12th round stoppage over Angel “Tito” Acosta. He made successful defenses against Carlos Buitrago and Katsunari Takayama in 2020 and 2021, then lost the belt in a split decision upset against Jonathan Gonzalez in Oct. 2021.
The 25-year-old won’t look to bounce back easy, though, as he’ll take on 33-year-old South African veteran Budler (33-4, 10 KO), a former titleholder at both 105 and 108 lbs. Budler lost to Hiroto Kyoguchi on New Year’s Eve to end 2018 in Japan, and didn’t fight again until May 2021, returning with a win over Jonathan Almacen in Johannesburg.
Soto will definitely test what Budler really has left, but the crafty vet could also prove a significant issue for Soto, who is younger and exciting, but was out-boxed by Gonzalez last year.
But it’s a good matchup for both, Budler really trying to get back in the race at 108 for real, and Soto looking to bounce back strong with a win over a solid name in the division.