Just how good South African boxing’s emerging talent is will become evident when Golden Gloves unveils a feast of newcomers on its March 10 “Young Guns” bill at Emperors Palace.
As one of six development shows planned for 2024, each coming on the back of bigger events, the idea is to keep SA’s young fighters busy while identifying among them who might have something special to offer long-term.
It’s a laudable project, not least because such opportunities are rare and many novice boxers struggle for action.
Although he already has national champion status, Asemahle Wellem is one such boxer. He’s fresh, ambitious and has had only a handful of fights (seven) while strongly suggesting that he has a bright future. A newcomer to the Brian Mitchell gym, the super-middleweight will be one of seven fighters from the Edenvale establishment out to catch the eye.
For all this, it may very well be a new trainer in the shape of boxing stalwart Ryno Liebenberg who draws the most curiosity. His light-heavyweight, Clifford Louw, will make his debut. Knowing Liebenberg, he won’t be wasting his time with ordinary talent, so the prospects are encouraging.
With Manny Fernandes set to be installed as the new trainer at the Mitchell gym, he will be kept busy as the likes of Charlton Malajika, Carl van Blerk, Beaven Sibanda and Michael Head (against Keagan Mills) begin their climb into the rankings.
Featherweight Justin Mostert, who works under Harold Volbrecht, is another who will feature, so too Bryan Thysse from Damien Durandt’s ever-growing gym on the edge of Edenvale.
There will also be a return for Juan Roux, the one-time SA heavyweight champion who famously derailed the career of Wilhelm Nebe, only to lose his belt against Josh Pretorius almost two years ago. With six wins in seven outings, and a dearth of local heavyweights, he surely has an opening to come again.Cape Town’s Dylan Prosser, who fights with a butterfly tattoo on his arm and a mean streak in his heart, already looks a find, his run of three straight knockouts suggesting a puncher in the making.