Boxing Snippets

Big guns arrive early

Micki Nielsen schooling Johnny Muller earlier this year. Pic: N-Squared

In a clear sign of battle stations for October 22, one of the headliners arrives as early as Saturday to prepare for the sold-out tournament.

On Saturday, Chris van Heerden jets in from the US for his fight against Sacky Shikukutu. Meanwhile, cruiserweight Micki Nielsen arrives with trainer Joey Gamache, the former world champion, on Monday.

Van Heerden, the former IBO champion, will arrive to the big news that promoter Rodney Berman has already been in discussion with US counterpart Art Pelullo about matching Van Heerden with Ruslan Provodnikov, a former Fight of the Year winner whose middle name is excitement.

Thrill-a-minute Ruslan Provodnikov could be on the menu for Chris van Heerden – if he wins next month.

Nielsen, meanwhile, will be moving into private residence before shifting to Emperors Palace, apparently to ensure his every need is met ahead of his big fight against Kevin Lerena.

He will be training out of Harold Volbrecht’s gym on the East Rand.

Berman is already predicting that Nielsen versus Lerena will be the biggest cruiserweight fight on local shores since world champion Piet Crous’ heyday in the 1980s.

“In all my time in boxing I don’t recall us selling out five weeks before an event,” he enthused yesterday. “Fans are smart and they figure Lerena-Nielsen is going to be a war. On the one hand you have a proud local who is determined to crack the top 10 and what comes with it. On the other you have a guy with the Viking gene who is just so strong and has designs on the world championship.”

While loath to put the cart before the horse, Berman said he had put plans in place to bring Provodnikov to SA – “but it goes without saying that Chris must do the business on the 22nd.”


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