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Stellar year sets stage for Berman's young tigers

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

GOLDEN Gloves promoter Rodney Berman believes that professional boxing was at an "all-time high" in South Africa throughout 2009.

Berman, who started promoting fights in 1977, cited the youngest and most talented array of stars he has ever had the pleasure of working with.

"Oddly enough, the same is true of our present crop of trainers, most of whom compare favourably with some of the finest mentors ever produced in this country," said the man who has produced world champions such as Welcome Ncita, Philip Holiday, Corrie Sanders, Vuyani Bungu, Thulani Malinga, Mbulelo Botile and Jacob Matlala, to mention but a few.

"Boxing boasts incredible public support in South Africa and it says much for trainers like Harold Volbrecht, Elias Tshabalala, Manny Fernandes and Colin Nathan that they conduct themselves in such a gentlemanly fashion," Berman said.

"With the 2010 World Cup football tournament featuring as the gala event in the history of SA sport, Golden Gloves has identified several of its rising stars for inclusion on its June 18 'Blockbuster' tournament at Emperors Palace."

But Berman's first tournament will be on February 27 at the Palace of Dreams in Ekurhuleni.

"It will form an ideal launching pad for a number of our young tigers, such as Hekkie Budler, who on the night faces Juanito Rubillar of the Philippines for the vacant IBO world junior flyweight title," he said.

Berman's dream team, who will showcase their skills at the "Blockbuster" tournament, are IBO light heavyweight Youth, IBO and WBA super middleweight Youth champion Thomas Oosthuizen, IBO Africa lightweight holder Jason Bedeman and WBA International bantamweight titlist Tshifhiwa Munyai.

"Basically the sky's the limit and you can bet that our mammoth event on June 18 2010 at Emperors Palace will match some of the most glittering fistic spectacles ever staged in this country," he said.


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