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Golden Gloves keep the hits coming with three more tournaments planned after “Winner Takes All”!

Golden Gloves keep the hits coming with three more tournaments planned after “Winner Takes All”!
Golden Gloves, in conjunction with Supersport and Emperor’s Palace, has big plans to keep boxing fans entertained throughout the rest of the year.
Not only will the June 11th card, entitled “Winner Takes All” feature the Brandon Thysse-Roarke Knapp rematch with the vacant ABU junior middleweight title at stake, it will also see the return of “The Red Beast,”Josh Pretorius.
Will the new and improved Roarke Knapp be able to reverse his defeat to Brandon Thysse?
Thysse stopped Knapp in seven rounds when they met back in 2019. Statistically, a fighter losing the first fight inside the distance, gets stopped quicker in the rematch but in boxing nothing is ever certain. Both fighters have improved but will there be lingering damage from Knapp’s last fight? He went life and death against Cristiano Ndombassy, repeatedly climbing off the canvass in a hellish third round to eventually prevail. One wonders whether that experience has left a mark on his psyche.
Thysse is eager to close this chapter in his career and go on to bigger things. However, he must guard against complacency. It is sometimes hard to get up mentally for an opponent you have already beaten.
Josh Pretorius put up a boxing clinic in his last fight, outpointing Juan Roux over twelve rounds to become South African and ABU heavyweight champion. He has continued to impress on Golden Gloves cards and his spotlight is well deserved.
Like the great Bernard Hopkins, Pretorius suffered the embarrassment of losing his pro debut. Unlike Hopkins, he will now have the opportunity, albeit many years later, to reverse that defeat when he defends his titles against Chris Thompson. Thompson won a close decision in their initial encounter. Nicknamed “The Wolf” he campaigned as a cruiserweight before moving up to heavyweight for his last three fights.
On the undercard, there is yet another treat for fans. Samuel Takyi, the 2020 Olympic bronze medalist from Ghana will be making his pro debut in a junior lightweight four rounder.
For the first time in history, two women headlined Madison Square Garden in New York when undisputed lightweight champion, Katie Taylor and seven weight champion, Amanda Serrano gave fans a fight to remember. Has Golden Gloves unearthed a female prodigy in amateur star, Yolandi Gelderblom? She will also be making her pro debut as a lightweight in a four rounder.
When the dust has settled, Golden Gloves will return to Emperor’s Palace on 17 September.
It will be Kevin Lerena’s chance to headline the bill when he continues his assault on the heavyweight division. He will defend the WBA Intercontinental title he won against Bogdan Dinu against an opponent to be determined. Promoter Rodney Berman has several interesting names in the hat. We should soon know who will be in the opposing corner.
In the main supporting bout, undefeated junior middleweight, Shervantaigh Koopman returns to action. He will be defending his IBF Continental Africa title against fellow undefeated WBO Africa champion, Brendon Denes from Zimbabwe. Koopman looked the part in his last outing, dismantling Jami Webb in five rounds. It will be interesting to see whether Denes can test the streaking South African.
The exact date is yet to be confirmed, but a potential double header is tentatively scheduled for October.
This card will feature a fight for the inaugural ABU bridgerweight title between Keaton Gomes and Akani Phuzi. This will be the first time that a fight in this weight division, which aims to fill the gap between cruiser- and heavyweight, takes place on African soil. Both Phuzi and Gomes had their careers derailed by back-to-back defeats, Gomes against Lebo Mashitoa and Phuzi against Johnny Muller. Both have since scored impressive wins to get their careers back on track, especially Phuzi, who destroyed Mashitoa inside three rounds in his last fight.
Nothing is final yet, but a South African super middleweight title fight between undefeated champion, Cowin Ray and former champion, Rowan Campbell is one option for the other bout. If both camps can come to terms it would be an intriguing crossroads encounter. Campbell needs to bounce back from his lone career defeat against Ryno Liebenberg and it should show us just how good young Cowin Ray really is.
In addition, Golden Gloves plans to end the year with a bang with their final tournament slated for December.

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