Boxing Snippets

Golden Gloves has major fight cards in the works for December and February.

Golden Gloves has major fight cards in the works for December and February.
With South Africa moving to Lockdown Level 1, there is new hope that crowds, albeit in reduced numbers, will finally return to boxing.
The first date will be 11 December when Golden Gloves will stage an All-African junior middleweight extravaganza featuring Brandon Thysse, Roarke Knapp and newly minted national champion, Shervantaigh Koopman.
“We are lucky to have three exceptional junior middleweights,” says promoter Rodney Berman. “Each one of them will certainly be a dominant force in Africa and I suspect all three of them will make their mark on the international stage as well. For now, we will keep them on different paths. We don’t want them to knock each other off just yet.”
The threesome will feature in separate bouts with opponents from Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya under consideration.
Although it has not been signed on the dotted line at the time of writing, former world title challenger, Patrick Allotey, is being considered as an opponent for Thysse.
Allotey has a very respectable 41-4 record with 31 knockouts and has only lost to the best. He was stopped in four rounds by Jaime Munguia in a challenge for the WBO world title in 2019 and his other losses came against current WBF world champion, Charles Manyuchi, former WBO world champion, Patrick Teixeira, and current unbeaten contender, Kanat Islam, whom he extended for 12 rounds. If the fight can be made, it should provide a good indicator of where young Thysse is at in his career.
As for Knapp, Rilliwan Ayodele Babatunde from Nigeria is one of the names that are being considered. Babatunde has a record of 14-1 with eight knockouts and his only loss came on points, fighting on the road in Ukraine. Unlike so many fighters these days, Babatunde has seen action no less than three times in a busy 2021, so ring rust will not be an issue for him.
As for Koopman, he has given such an excellent performance in his last fight, gradually breaking down Simon Dladla, that his inclusion on the bill is a no-brainer.
Sometimes underdogs upset the apple cart and when it happens it is always good to see them get rewarded for their efforts. Heavyweight Joshua Pretorius did just that when he upset the giant Wilhelm Nebe and Berman would like to put him on another Golden Gloves card. “We are thinking of matching him against Keaton Gomes.”
Then there is IBO world junior featherweight champion, Lodumo Lamati, who showed tremendous heart in battling through an absolute war against Jose Martin Estrada Garcia in June.
“Staging a world title fight at home without a crowd is very difficult from a financial standpoint. The plan was to take Lamati to the UK to defend his title there,” explains Berman. “However, South Africa remaining on the red list and the quarantine requirements threw a spanner in the works. He will now make a title defense on our February bill when we hope crowds will return in force.”
The return from injury of IBO cruiserweight world champion, Kevin Lerena, is also a strong possibility for the February card.
Fight fans have a lot to look forward to!

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