South Africa’s Gideon Buthelezi makes the fifth defense of his IBO junior bantamweight belt when he meets Adrian Jimenez from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico at the International Convention Centre in East London on Saturday night.
The 33-year-old Buthelezi (21-5; 4) has been fighting as a pro for 13 years. He lost to Nestor Bolun on points over four rounds on his debut.
However, since then he has lost only four fights, against Tshepo Lefele (TKO 6), Adrian Hernandez (TKO 2), Lwandile Sityatha (pts 12) and Edrin Dapudong (TKO 1).
He has had an outstanding career, winning the South African mini-flyweight, WBO Africa mini-flyweight, IBO minimumweight, IBO junior-flyweight, IBO junior-bantamweight, IBO Africa bantamweight and WBA African junior-bantamweight titles.
Possibly his most outstanding victory was on June 27, 2011, when he beat multiple world champion Hekkie Budler on points over 12 rounds for the IBO junior-flyweight belt.
Buthelezi’s opponent, Jimenez, is 13-1-2; 5 and made his pro debut on July 29, 2011, at the age of 17.
The only loss on his record came against Martin Ruiz in his fifth fight, who stopped him in the first round.
But Jimenez has not been in the ring with any top-ranked fighters and this will be his first crack at a world title.
There are some attractive matchups on the undercard, with Nkosinathi Joyi from Mdantsane facing Siphamandla Baleni in a bout for the vacant WBO Global junior-flyweight title, and Yanga Sigqibo defending his WBO Intercontinental junior-bantamweight title against Joseph Ambo from the Philippines.
Also, on the undercard is Jackson Chauke of Gauteng, who will be making the first defense of his South African flyweight title against Sihle Jelwana from the Free State.