Berman pits Kamanga against Zhailauov, reveals mandatory for Budler

Golden Gloves 24/09/2015

In the wake of the weekend’s successful tournament, Golden Gloves has put together an intriguing fight for Emperors Palace on December 1.

Unbeaten Paul Kamanga will face fellow prospect Roman Zhailauov for the IBO Youth welterweight title.

This follows Kamanga’s domination of Jason Bedeman and Zhailauov’s narrow points defeat to veteran Thompson Mokwana.

Kamanga is 22 to Zhailauov’s 21 and both are exciting, fast-handed fighters.

Meanwhile, Hekkie Budler’s future will become clearer when promoter Rodney Berman attends the WBA convention in December.

What’s looking likely is a mandatory defence against CP Freshmart, probably on the first Golden Gloves event in 2016, at Emperors Palace in March.

On Saturday, Budler endured a tough 12-rounder against countryman Simphiwe Khonco, relying on his experience and pace down the stretch to defend his WBA and IBO titles.

“Hekkie was very good, but Khonco was outstanding too,” said Berman. “I can’t believe that such a talent was suppressed for so long. That kid can fight. I spoke to his promoter [Andile Sidinile] and committed to helping get him another title shot. He would have beaten just about anyone else on Saturday, notwithstanding the one score, which was way off.”

Berman was delighted to add Khonco to the list of South Africa’s best boxers, ranking him alongside the likes of Xolisani Ndongeni and Paul Kamanga as “new” stars.

“The future is bright, there’s a lot to work with.”

He also said that the action had hardly died down and Emperors Palace had been bombarded with calls for the next tournament, emphatically proving that if you put on the right fights, the fans will come.