Boxing Snippets

Gomes gunning for history

Keaton Gomes will be chasing history when he defends his SA heavyweight title at Emperors Palace on March 9.
Not since Osborne Machimana reigned as champion 15 years ago – seven defences – has the SA heavyweight title-holder made more than a single defence.
Since 2010 the belt has been passed around like a hot potato with no one able to muster more than a single defence.
Gomes is determined to go one better when he puts his belt on the line against Shaun Potgieter. Critics may say he’s going over old ground, having beaten Potgieter via the short route in 2022, but that would be ignoring Potgieter’s good form. He’s since had five wins on the bounce, four by knockout.
However, Gomes has also improved since.
Said trainer Peter Smith: “Keaton was one-dimensional in the beginning, but now he’s starting to really feel it. He’s got so much more to his game and plenty sparring with the likes of Kevin Lerena has sharpened him.”
Smith believes Gomes has turned a corner after his twin defeats to Lebogang Mashitoa. He isn’t a cruiserweight and is a smallish heavyweight (98kg-102kg), so he’s struggled to find his lane. But the introduction of bridgerweight suits him perfectly and it’s likely where he’ll end up, according to Smith, notwithstanding the WBC already rating him at number eight.
For now he’s likely to continue at heavyweight where the challenges at local level are more modest and the dreadnoughts that cruise the international scene can’t be found.
Yet Smith isn’t taking Potgieter lightly. He concedes that he’ll be well trained under Gert Strydom and has shown good power in stoppage wins against Wilhelm Nebe and normally rugged Josh Pretorius.
“He’s a good fighter, but Keaton’s got too much for him,” said Smith. “We’re excited for it and I’m predicting another knockout win.”

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button