Boxing Snippets

Bright lights beckon for Kevin Lerena and Up-and-Comers.

Golden Gloves rising stars, Jabulani Makhense, Ricardo Malajika and Rowan Campbell will finally see some action in October and December this year as boxing starts to re-open post lockdown. Not only will bragging rights and various belts be on the line for the undefeated youngsters, there is also the possibility of getting the opportunity to showcase their skills to an American audience, thanks to promoter Rodney Berman’s working relationship with US counterpart, Lou DiBella.
DiBella, the former Vice President of HBO Sports, so long the flagship network for big time boxing, has certainly been around the block. He has promoted some big names in the past, such as former middleweight and heavyweight champions, Sergio Martinez and Deontay Wilder and currently has an extensive stable of world class fighters, including Regis Prograis, Ivan Baranchyk, Richard Commey, Tevin Farmer, Amanda Serrano and Sergiy Derevyanchenko.
On top of that, DiBella has just won the purse bid to stage the WBC final eliminator in the cruiserweight division between another Golden Gloves fighter, Thabiso Mchunu and Olanrewaju Durodola. The winner will become the mandatory challenger for WBC world champion, Ilunga “Junior” Makabu.
It is a connection that clearly bears fruit for South African fighters and Golden Gloves’ flagship fighter, IBO cruiserweight world champion, Kevin Lerena, will in future be co-promoted by Golden Gloves and DiBella Entertainment.
Mairis Briedis took the IBF world title this past weekend from Yuniel Dorticos in the World Boxing Super Series final and has expressed interest in moving up to heavyweight. Should that happen, a possible final eliminator in the works for the mandatory position between Lerena and Aussie fighter, Jai Opetai, could become for the vacant IBF world title.
Still, if it is to be, it will be up to the fighters themselves. The American market is ultra-competitive, with consumers being spoiled for choice. Simply winning in the next few months will not be enough. They will have to do so in impressive, crowd pleasing style.
If they can do that, who knows who might emerge as South African boxing’s next breakout star?

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