Golden Gloves has big designs on the winner of April’s SA welterweight championship between title-holder Shaun Ness and Thulani Mbenge.
Indeed, promoter Rodney Berman has already put plans in place to secure a 10-round international bout for the winner.
He has earmarked Jayan Inson (13-0) of the Philippines, who recently gatecrashed the WBO top 15 after climbing two divisions to KO Japanese fighter Ryota Yada in Japan.
The unbeaten southpaw won the vacant WBO Asia Pacific welterweight title, cementing his growing reputation in the east.
Berman is known to be a big supporter of Mbenge, but he’s refusing to fall into the trap of over-hyping him before he deals with tough challengers like Ness. “It’s true, I want to see a bit more of him. He’s done the business so far, but I want to see if he can win an old-fashioned brawl, or hang tough with a rugged boxer whose chin holds up. Every prospect needs those experiences.”
Ness might well prove to be such an opponent. What he lacks in flash he makes up for in solid skills and an out-size heart.
For now, both Mbenge and Ness would be best-placed to forget about the Inson fight, which will sort itself out in due course.
All their focus must be on each other.