The line–up for October 22’s “Southpaw Showdown” at Emperors Palace is an open secret, but it will nonetheless be confirmed at a media workout taking place at SuperSport in Randburg tomorrow.
The majority of the boxers will be in attendance, including Hekkie Budler, Siyabonga Siyo, Kevin Lerena, Nyelisani Thagambege and DeeJay Kriel.
Although Ryno Liebenberg isn’t on the bill, he too will be in attendance as he has a big fight lined up in Europe in early October.
Expectations that he and Lerena would spar were scuppered by Rodney Berman who said that the risk was too great for Liebenberg especially as a cut at this stage would potentially put his fight in jeopardy.
“Ryno was keen, but those big guys bang hard . . . I just can’t take the chance. Kevin is bringing his own sparring partner so the crowd will get a good idea of his speed and power ahead of his big fight.”
Lerena is in the main co-feature, chasing the “Super Four” cruiserweight crown against unbeaten and dangerous Micki Nielsen of Denmark.
Another intriguing match-up sees the return of Budler, desperate to reassert himself as the main man in the strawweight division. He won’t have it easy: Siyo is promising an upset.
The other main co-feature pits Chris van Heerden against Sacky Shikukutu in what will be a homecoming for Van Heerden, not having fought in his homeland since 2013.
A mini-classic could also be in store on the undercard between Nyelisani Thagambege and DeeJay Kriel. It’s a rematch of their recent fight which produced knockdowns, action and controversy with Kriel gaining a contested win.
The fighters and their trainers want to settle matters once and for all. The rematch ought to provide all the answers.