Boxing Snippets

It’s win or bust for Kriel on Sunday

DeeJay Kriel at his best, spearing his educated left hand through an opponent’s guard. Pic: N-SQUARED

DeeJay Kriel is on the cusp of an international career and must win on Sunday to fulfil his potential.

This is the view of promoter Rodney Berman, who has matched him with tough Dexter Alimento of Philippines for the WBC International minimumweight title at Emperors Palace.

The intention is for Kriel to follow in the footsteps of stablemate Hekkie Budler, who cleaned up locally before dominating internationally. Anything but a win on Sunday would seriously cramp plans for Kriel to follow Budler’s playbook.

After losing his first bout – later avenged – Kriel (11-1) embarked on a hot streak and agrees that it’s time to step up. “I’m so curious to discover what it’s like to fight overseas boxers. I trust myself and my talent, so it’s the right time to shift gears,” said the 22-year-old. “Alimento is the right sort of opponent at this stage of my career.”

Word out of the HotBox gym, where Kriel is ever-present at training, is that the youngster is in terrific shape, having worked many rounds with fighters like Simpiwe Konkco and Budler.

There are some familiar names on Sunday’s undercard, none more interesting than Wade Groth. The former mixed martial artist has already banged out three opponents in the pro ranks, but may be tested more by Benjamin Nhabe.

Exciting junior-lightweight prospect Lerato Dlamini will make his debut at Emperors, having largely fought on small-hall shows until now. Trainer Colin Nathan believes he could be the next big thing, raving about his strength and power.

Chris Thompson and Tshilidzi Mulaudzi will satisfy the craving of fans for the bigger fighters as the pair square off over four rounds in the cruiserweight divison.

Much decorated former amateur star Ayabonga “JayJay” Sonjica fights Alex Lunti in a junior-featherweight four-rounder. If it’s anything like Sonjica’s pro debut in April, it will be explosive.

There’s also a junior-welterweight four-rounder between Jabulani Makhense and Khodani Tshiakale.

Boxing starts at 2pm (the action won’t be broadcast live).



Related Articles

Back to top button