Upon the announcement of the “Night of Reckoning” tournament last week, the sharpest comment came from the lips of cruiserweight contender Johnny Muller.
Speculating about being motivated for the Super Four contest, Muller said, “If you’re South African, you have no problem getting motivated for a million Rand-plus.”
Indeed, Muller has his eye on the big prize, which is around R900 000 for the winner, not to speak of the meaty purse he will receive for his first-round fight against Micki Nielsen next month.
Muller is still hurting from his 10th-round defeat at the first of Kevin Lerena last month, but he gains solace from the possibility of a rematch come October.
“You know, he caught me good. It’s one of those things. I’d like nothing better than to fight him in the final,” said the likeable fighter from The Hammer gym.
Much will have to happen, but a third fight between the SA rivals isn’t beyond the realms of possibility. Muller is coming off back-to-back losses and will be in deep against the unbeaten Nielsen, but he always comes to fight and has been in against far better quality fighters than the Dane.
Nielsen is a southpaw with a decent dig, but as he’ll discover, Muller will scrap and toil for every second of every round.
Lerena also needs to come through his test against Bolonti, a shrewd operator who rates as one of the division’s gate-keepers. He knows how to look after himself and his only defeats have come at the highest level. He will see Lerena as a Johnny-come-lately who hasn’t earned his spurs. Lerena, of course, will see pure opportunity.
The response to ticket sales has been encouraging and suggests that Golden Gloves is onto another winner.