By Ryan Songalia,


Former WBA strawweight titleholder Hekkie Budler will continue his campaign three pounds north when he faces Filipino banger Joey Canoy at Emperors Palace in Gauteng, South Africa on Feb. 4.

The fight will be the second for Budler (30-2, 9 knockouts) since his upset decision loss to Byron Rojas last March, while Canoy (12-2-1, 6 KOs) is coming off two straight wins – the most recent being a stoppage of unbeaten Toto Landero – since a knockout loss to world-rated compatriot Jessie Espinas.

“I don’t know much (about Canoy), haven’t seen any of his fights but I am expecting a very hard fight and I think he is a good puncher so I’m gonna have to be at my best,” said Budler, 28, who is rated No. 7 at junior flyweight by THE RING.

Budler’s trainer Colin Nathan describes Canoy as a “tough, strong kid and an aggressive southpaw who will bring it.”

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