Boxing Snippets

Kamanga takes the rugged Russian route

Roman Balaev vs Ali Funeke pic Alex van der Westhuizen
Roman Belaev on the attack against SA’s Ali Funeka in 2014.

Golden Gloves has secured a major international fight on the undercard of a planned spectacular at Emperors Palace on March 19.

Details of the card topper are still under wraps, but promoter Rodney Berman has put together a cracking undercard fight between unbeaten Paul Kamanga and dangerous Russian Roman Belaev. Kamanga is very much a house fighter at Emperors, but Belaev knows the venue too, having given former world champion Ali Funeka a tremendous scrap there in 2014 for the IBO welterweight title.

The Russian was leading on one card when the fight was stopped in the 12th on the advice of the ringside doctor due to a cut around his right eye.

It was a devastating blow to Belaev, as he was unbeaten in 14 fights until that point.

However, earlier that same year he impressed Berman who had included him on a tournament in Monte Carlo where the German-based fighter produced a dominant performance against the UK’s Dean Byrne.

Paul Kamanga piling on the pressure.

Kamanga’s WBA Pan-African title will be on the line in March.

As Belaev lives in Germany and has a German manager, one of the conditions of the fight was the presence of a German judge at ringside, which the WBA has agreed to. This, in light of the fiasco after last year’s Johnny Muller-Mateusz Masternak fight, seems only right.

Said Berman: “I’m convinced Kamanga is WBA top 10 material. He’s unbeaten in 18 fights and never really come close to losing. He looked tremendous against Roman Zhailauov, especially when he stood and traded. He’s been well groomed and is now ready to be unleashed.

“Belaev will be a proper test. He’s a super-tough kid with good skills. He’s also ambitious and will push Kamanga all the way.”


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