Tournament place on the line when Coetzee and Lerena clash

Golden Gloves 10/07/2015
With local bragging rights already up for grabs, the Deon Coetzee-Kevin Lerena SA cruiserweight title fight at the end of this month has been given even more impetus.
The winner is in line to head up promoter Jeff Ellis’ “Christmas Cracker” tournament at Emperors Palace in December. What’s more, Golden Gloves, working in association with African Ring, will seek the sanction of either the WBC or WBA for an international title as a stepping stone to bigger things.

“The division is very vibrant right now,” said Rodney Berman, who has also committed to a six-figure purse for the December tournament.

In an associated move, Berman has also just signed Irish amateur cruiserweight star Gary Sweeney, who will make his pro debut in September.

Berman, of course, was also associated with Junior Makabu for a number of fights with the DRC boxer now on the verge of a world championship fight at cruiserweight.

Coetzee has more than just ambition in his arsenal. He has boxing in his genes: former world heavyweight champion Gerrie Coetzee is his father’s cousin.

At a recent visit to a training session of Deon, the conversation shifted to Gerrie and how Gerrie was once scheduled to fight “The Greatest”, Muhammad Ali. Deon wasn’t born when Gerrie was champion, but as a teen he began to take an interest in Gerrie’s career.

The rest is history, for the young Coetzee is now SA champion and determined to underline his credentials against the dangerous Lerena.

Asked about the fight, Coetzee was unequivocal: “There are two things you can’t have – my wife and my belt.”

Lerena has been warned.