Boxing Snippets

Battered Rand Shakes Local Boxing

The Rand might have been ripped to pieces by recent political events, but Golden Gloves’ Rodney Berman insists that South Africa’s fighters won’t be prejudiced.

For most tournaments, Berman trades in Dollars with international boxers, an ever-increasing calamity given the local currency’s dramatic freefall. This means Golden Gloves must shell out even more cash, made harder by the squeeze on the local economy.

Costs are horrendous for title bouts with purses, insurances and sanctioning fees blowing out budgets.

He is nothing if not realistic. “I foresee a marked increase in local match-ups as one of the consequences, but this will not prejudice Golden Gloves champions and young talent. Without international exposure, they will be confined to domestic stardom only. This is something we must avoid.

“We could downgrade and pay for third-rate opponents, but we won’t do this. We have to work harder and be more imaginative.”

Berman singles out the likes of Hekkie Budler, Paul Kamanga and Simphiwe Khonco as the fighters most likely to keep our flag flying. Added to this list is the winner of the impending Kevin Lerena-Johnny Muller rematch, plus Tommy Oosthuizen.

The swing towards more local bouts is encouraging on two fronts: such fights are typically explosive and there is much emerging talent to match. The trick for Berman, and matchmaker Ruben Rasodi, is making them happen.

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