Golden Gloves’ run-up to year’s end is choc-o-bloc with top-line tournaments, most of which will be broadcast live on SuperSport.
Unveiling the company’s long-term line-up on Monday, CEO Rodney Berman was bullish about the state of boxing, notwithstanding the less than impressive state of Boxing SA.
The action starts next weekend (June 6) with “D-Day at the Palace”, a world championship bill that features Tommy Oosthuizen, Xolisani Ndongeni and Johnny Muller all in vital fights.
Seven weeks later, Emperors Palace will be the scene for an intriguing SA cruiserweight title bout between champion Deon Coetzee and Kevin Lerena. This will top a card that also features the third meeting between Dowayne Combrink and Giovanni Bushby for the Pan-African middleweight title. Anyone who saw their previous scraps will be looking forward to the third.
Lerena and Coetzee could be explosive. The champion is on a seven-fight winning streak and could catapult himself into the mainstream if he beats popular Lerena. The southpaw needs a compelling win to atone for his defeat to Muller. He will be itching to put on a show.
Berman has asked SuperSport to consider broadcasting the tournament given the quality of the two main bouts.
World championship boxing then returns to Emperors Palace on September 30 when Hekkie Budler faces local rival Simphiwe Khonco, the number six contender in the WBA and number 10 in the WBO. It won’t be an easy outing for Budler who is well aware of how inspired SA fighters get for local bragging rights.
Another possibility for September is Oosthuizen challenging WBC light-heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson in Canada. Berman is neck-deep in negotiations with the champion’s camp, suffice to say that he is confident of receiving confirmation shortly.
Of course, none of this will happen if Oosthuizen doesn’t do the business against Robert Berridge next weekend. He needs to win impressively, although perhaps not too impressively if he is to earn the nod of Stevenson.
Finally, in November, the Golden Gloves freight train will roll into Monte Carlo again. Berman is negotiating with a number of big-name fighters to headline. What’s more, the undercard will almost certainly feature Budler, the WBA and IBO minimumweight champion, in a major unification fight.