Ricky Tshabalala. You may want to remember the name.
On Saturday, he sparked his opponent in the opening 60 seconds of “sparring” during the licensing shindig at Booysens. Next month, he takes the rewards of that showing – his pro license – and uses it to make his pro debut on the Golden Gloves “Showstoppers” event at Emperors Palace.
“I keep hearing about this kid and although I wasn’t at Booysens on Saturday, the reports were very encouraging,” said promoter Rodney Berman. “I know he’s charismatic and can fight, so let’s see if that translates to the pros.”
Tshabalala, 24, is the reigning SA light-heavyweight champion, but he’ll campaign at super-middleweight in the pros, where he will be trained by Colin Nathan.
Nathan is high on Tshabalala’s prospects. “I get a lot of talent coming through the gym, but Ricky stands out as special. I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Tshabalala has more to aim for than the first notch on his pro belt. Berman says the two best novices on show on April 23 will also feature on a major tournament in June. Tshabalala, naturally, will be looking to claim his spot.
Apart from other attractions on April 23, there will be three lucky draws during the afternoon with each winner earning two tickets valued at R1000 for June 10.