gambling on venue

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

The hall at the military base in Kroonstad that will be used to host a five-bout title championship tonight could be too small for a boxing tournament of such magnitude.

It can accommodate about 500 people, and promoter Blacky Seoe has made it worse by declaring the entrance free.

What will happen if boxing followers from other provinces show their appreciation for Seoe's generosity by coming in big numbers? Mind you, locals from around Kroonstad will be there too to give moral support and to watch history unfold in their fight-starved province.

Seoe, who has a penchant for staging super bouts, compiled a programme of well supported, top fighters from Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

They are William "Dynamite" Gare, Bongani "Cyclones" Mwelase, Khotso "Masterpiece" Motau and Tshepang Mohale (all from Gauteng); Mlungisi "Shark" Dlamini and Sam Malinga (KwaZulu Natal); Thabo Mashishi (Limpopo); and Colin Mayisela (Mpumalanga).

Gare, who is trained by Johnny du Plooy, will defend the WBF super middleweight belt against Australian Les Sherrington.

Dlamini, who is under the tutelage of Gauteng mentor Warren Hulley, will defend the WBF lightweight strap against Argentinian Martin Diego.

Mwelase, who is also trained by Du Plooy, will put the national welterweight belt on the line against Mashishi .

Malinga, who will make his debut under trainer Stanley Ndlovu, will defend the SA junior welterweight belt against Mayisela, who is guided by veteran mentor Norman Hlabane.

Motau, who is Malinga's stablemate at Ndlovu's gym, and Mohale will fight for the vacant South African super middleweight strap Gare relinquished in February after winning the WBF belt.

Gare's fight with Sherrington will be televised live by Blow by Blow at 9.30pm.

The tournament is bankrolled by the Free State department of sports, arts and culture.