A million-Rand pot of cash could be on offer if Rodney Berman forges ahead with plans to stage an exciting welterweight Super Four tournament in 2016.
The Golden Gloves impresario has discussed the potential of doing so with his inner circle, to great encouragement.
Every few years he innovates and such a tournament is in keeping with Berman’s habit of shaking things up.
He’s already thrown a few names in the air, but emphasises that everything remains in the planning stage.
The four candidates who immediately come to mind are southpaw Chris van Heerden, IBO champion Tsiko Mulovhedzi and the pair of Paul Kamanga and Roman Zhailauov, who incidentally fight early next week.
Berman would stage the first tournament in March, with fights being determined by a draw. Each boxer would earn R250 000 for participating. The final and the “bronze medal” match would then take place around September.
Berman envisages a R1-million purse split 70-30 between the finalists and a R500 000 purse split 60-40 for the third-place fight.
“Obviously these names are tentative and I want to see how Kamanga- Zhailauov goes on December 1st, but I think this is an idea with legs.”
Van Heerden’s credentials are emphatic: a former IBO champion, he has mixed in world class company and always comes to fight. Most recently, he helped out Miguel Cotto in sparring.
Mulovhedzi could be the danger man. He sparked dangerous Ali Funeka in five rounds in July and although his 10-7-3 record is unremarkable, he’s a puncher who hasn’t been defeated in six years.
Kamanga is a hot-running prospect unbeaten in 17 outings while the Kazakh is a dangerous puncher who could be the dark horse in the mix.
Said Berman: “The welterweight division has always been strong and competitive. I’d hope that the fans would respond positively, particularly as there are some great local fights to be made. Just imagine, for instance, veteran Van Heerden up against a young gun like Kamanga. It has all the ingredients to be a big hit.”