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klassy malcolm

By Bongani Magasela | Aug 17, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

The stage is set for Malcolm Klassen to show the world what he is made of.

He will defend the IBF belt against Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero in an Home Box Office (HBO) televised fight in Houston, Texas, in the US, on Saturday night.

Klassen, who hails from Toekomsrus on the West Rand, is already a household name locally. It is now the time to introduce himself to the world of fame and real fortune in in the US.

Klassen could have gone the easier route by making a voluntary defence against an unknown Filipino or Argentine and earn a big purse.

But the rare golden opportunity for local fighters to appear in America's biggest cable network was too much to be turned down.

The purse he will get is not great but the defence of the junior lightweight belt he won in Rustenburg from Cassius Baloyi in April will be viewed by millions of people around the globe.

Their fight will take place at the Toyota Center in Houston.

Paul "Magic Man" Malignaggi and Juan "Baby Bull" Diaz from Brooklyn, New York and Texas, respectively, will fight in a battle for supremacy in the main bout.

These fights will be presented jointly by Golden Boy Promotions of Oscar De La Hoya and the Branco Sports Production of Branco Milenkovic.

Boxing gurus, scribes and experts will be there to scrutinise Klassen. They already know him for his seven-round destruction of well known fighter, the legendary "Hitman" Baloyi.

Trainer Nick Durandt told Sowetan at OR Tambo International Airport before their departure on Friday night last week that talk in in the US is that "The Stone" Klassen is good.

"Cassius was a real world class fighter but Malcolm easily destroyed him," Durandt said.

"If he can take half that fire to Houston, then Guerrero is gonna be completely lost. Malcolm has the world at his feet now.

"Preparations were superb. He had unbelievable sparring from Vusi Malinga, Zolani Tete and Evans Mbamba for speed.

"I had Klassen roughed up a bit by SA and ABU welterweight champ Chris van Heerden, and he is ready."

Trainer Gert Strydom, who manned Klassen's corner when he ended Baloyi's reign, was part of the Team Klassen that left on Friday night. Milenkovic has remained behind.

Klassen, 27, was in a buoyant mood before their departure. He joked with some people who recognised him. "This belt is going nowhere," he assured them.


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