The curtain will come down on another excellent local boxing year with the annual “Christmas Cracker” tournament at Emperors Palace on Monday, December 4.
Confirming the line-up at a press conference at Smith’s Gym on Tuesday afternoon, promoter Jeff Ellis said that he expected a full house due to the classy match-ups in store.
Johnny Muller is the biggest name on the card, but there’s quality throughout, chiefly in the form of Joshua Studdard, who fights Rofhiwa Nemushungwa in a bantamweight 10-rounder. Studdard has been a slow burner for years and is long overdue making a major impact. He’ll have his turn in a fortnight.
The talk among local gyms, though, is of the cruiserweight battle between hot prospects Chris Thompson and Josh Roos. Thompson has been earnestly pushed and although he narrowly lost his last outing, it was a corker that could have gone either way. And Roos, after being highly touted when he made his debut three years ago, has rededicated himself to the sport after taking two years out. He’s bulked up and worked hard, the results of which may be evident against Thompson, who’ll test him.
Meanwhile, unbeaten Rowan Campbell will fight Jackson Masamba at super-middleweight. Masamba, from DRC, is 1-1-1 as a pro.
And Muller goes in against DRC’s Kozanga Mwanza Youssef (7-2-1), who upset George Tshimanga in his last fight and will be after a major scalp.
As per tradition, the tournament will also serve as a fillip to a local charity. Walking Tall, the southern suburbs feeding scheme, will be the recipient of funds raised with Golden Gloves, the co-promoter, underwriting R5000 as a guarantee.
Staying with the habit, Golden Gloves will also underwrite R10 000 in support of Alf Buqwana, the former SA featherweight champion and esteemed former boxing official, who is said to be in ill health, during its March 3 event next year.