Van Niekerk, Motau take big gambles

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Somebody's future prospect could suffer a setback at Emperors Palace tonight.

Hopefully, that will not be Anthony van Niekerk or Khotso Motau, who are gambling with opportunities to fight for national titles.

Promoters Dingaan Thobela, Philip Silver, Allan Young and Jeff Ellis of the Dingaan Thobela-Knockout Boxing Promotions (DT-KBP) have dangled a carrot in front of Van Niekerk - victory against Brazilian knockout artist Osmar "The Animal" Texeira will guarantee a fight against heavyweight belt holder Daniel Bruwer.

Texeira boasts 29 short-route wins from 38 victories against 20 defeats.

Van Niekerk is a well-schooled, stand-up fighter whose strength lies in his bravery, durability and ring generalship.

He fights from the orthodox stance. He is coming off a three-year fed-up leave since he lost the national middleweight title controversially to Mpush Makambi in 2003.

Van Niekerk has to date chalked up three consecutive wins, improving his record to 19 wins (11 KOs), two draws and five defeats.

Motau, meanwhile, will fight Zimbabwean Farayi Musiyiaa, the ambidextrous fighter who drew with the skilful Rupert van Aswegen over eight rounds last September.

Motau, who prefers to be called "Masterpiece", has already been approved by the boxing authorities to fight Tshepang Mohale for the vacant super middleweight strap.

The left-handed Motau, who is trained by Stanley Ndlovu, vacated the same middleweight belt last year because of weight problems. He made a resounding debut in that weight class last November by outclassing Gabonese Stephen Nzuemba over six rounds.

Motau is a knockout artist. Eleven of his 12 victims were left counting the stars. He has one defeat on points against Canadian Shawn Garnett.

Musiyiaa has 17 wins (10 KOs), a draw and nine defeats.

These fights will form part of a seven-card programme - a box-and-dine affair which has been dubbed "Double Trouble".