Given the early success of the cruiserweight “Super Four”, promoter Rodney Berman is planning to put together a similar tournament for top welterweights.
Berman said that the idea had percolated for a while, but he was convinced to start putting things together after the recent opening round of the cruiserweight contests.
Clearly, two key elements underpin the success: the prize money and the status, which resonated with the fighters and the fans.
Berman intends targeting four prominent fighters: unbeaten Paul Kamanga, SA champion Shaun Ness, veteran Ali Funeka and IBO champion Tsiko Mulovhedzi.
Provided he gets buy-in, he envisages a Ness-Kamanga and Funeka- Mulovhedzi first round on October 22 with the final to take place in February.
Kamanga is the WBA Pan-Africa champion and would probably start as favourite. In running his ledger to 19-0 he’s looked like an excellent prospect while beating some outstanding competition.
Ness is the least experienced of the four, but he’ll come to fight and will depend heavily on being underrated.
Big-hitting Funeka will relish the chance of a rematch with Mulovhedzi, who sensationally stopped him in one of the upsets of the year in 2015.
Despite his in and out record, Mulovhedzi has been a slow burner in the division, not having lost in seven years. He, too, deserves an opportunity to showcase his skills before a major audience.