In a surprise revelation, Rodney Berman says he threw out a challenge, and a bag of cash, to Chris van Heerden to fight Paul Kamanga in early 2016, but the former IBO champion has declined the offer.
The Golden Gloves boss confirmed that he had broached the idea of such a fight immediately after Kamanga blitzed Roman Zhailaouv, but Van Heerden has decided to pursue other interests.
This is hugely disappointing because the fight would have offered plenty of local spice with Van Heerden’s experience up against Kamanga’s speed and sharpness.
In beating the Kazakh at Emperors Palace last week, Kamanga produced arguably the finest performance of his 18-fight career.
Berman concurred: “I thought he’d get on his bike and counter-punch, but he stood his ground and really impressed me. I guess Chris saw that and wanted no part of him.”
Berman heads to the World Boxing Association convention in Panama on Friday with securing Kamanga a top-10 ranking on his bulging to-do list.
“I reckon he’s definitely a top 10 boxer. He makes things happen and he’s a top ticket-seller. I’ll be aiming to get him a top 10 opponent for March.”
Golden Gloves opens up its year with a nursery show on January 31, to be followed by an extravaganza in March.
Apart from Kamanga, WBA and IBO strawweight champion Hekkie Budler will defend his championships and the rematch between Kevin Lerena and Johnny Muller will take place.