Boxing Snippets

Golden Gloves bringing Las Vegas to Emperor’s Palace for stacked September card.

The last time South Africa made any significant waves on the international heavyweight stage was 18 years ago when Corrie Sanders fought Vitali Klitschko at the Staples Center for the WBC world heavyweight title. It has been a long time in the desert, so it is no wonder that the arrival of Kevin Lerena on the heavyweight scene has infused South African fans with new hope. As impressive as he was, dispatching Bogdan Dinu inside of four rounds in his last appearance, there is a big gulf between Dinu and the likes of Fury, Usyk and Joshua.
Promoter Rodney Berman is fully aware of this and wants to give Lerena every chance possible to succeed. “The big-name heavyweights fight in front of fanatical home crowds. We want to level the playing field as far as possible for Kevin and let him have the same advantage and experience. We don’t know who the opponent will be yet, but we aim to bring Las Vegas to Emperor’s Palace on the 17th of September.”
Unlike the rather bland undercard of this weekend’s Tyson Fury-Dillian Whyte WBC heavyweight title fight, the undercard for Lerena’s next fight already looks stacked. No less than two title fights will precede the heavyweight main event.
History will be made when the first bridgerweight title will be contested on African soil. Akani Phuzi and Keaton Gomes will clash for the inaugural ABU belt in the new division for smaller heavyweights.
Both have resurrected their careers after having suffered back-to-back losses. Gomes was twice outboxed by Lebo Mashitoa but regained his momentum in March when he dismantled Shaun Potgieter in style inside a round. Phuzi, after being taken to school twice by Johnny Muller, was no less devastating. In his last bout, he sent the same Mashitoa to the canvass three times in the third round to end matters. Both can punch and neither have ever been knocked out so this meeting could have the makings of a classic!
Undefeated Shervantaigh Koopman will be back in action, defending his IBF Continental Africa title against undefeated Brendon Denes from Zimbabwe. Denes is 9-0 with six knockouts and is a former WBF Intercontinental and WBO Africa champion. Koopman looked most impressive in his last outing, dismantling Jami Webb in five rounds. It will be interesting to see whether Denes can test the streaking South African.

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