Hekkie Budler wasn't just fighting Hiroto Kyoguchi on New Year's Eve, but was also battling sinus problems according to his manager.
Colin Nathan, who also trains Budler, told Ring TV that Budler had sinus issues the day before Budler had to defend his WBA "Super" light flyweight title against Kyoguchi in Macau, China. Budler was eventually stopped after 10 rounds when his corner put a stop to the fight.
“His nose got pretty blocked up the night before and we tried to use Vicks VapoRub and tried to naturally remedy it but we couldn’t," Nathan said.
Once the fight started, Budler was able to fight as well as one would in his conditions but about halfway through the fight, Budler started to complain about breathing issues. Once the 10th round concluded, Nathan saw the writing on the wall and knew he had to end things to protect Budler.
“He couldn’t turn it around, was taking flush shots, he wasn’t healthy, his nose was blocked. It’s six minutes of taking more punches, there was no point,” Nathan said.
As such, Budler's reign as world champion officially came to end. The fight concluded what has been a roller coaster year for Budler. Budler won the WBA "Super" and IBF titles earlier this year when he defeated Ryoichi Taguchi. Budler then vacated the IBF title due to a purse bid producing a $60,000 winning bid, leaving him with just the WBA, which is now in the hands of Kyoguchi. In the latest WBA rankings, Budler saw himself drop all the way to No. 5 at 108 pounds.