fighting fit

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Golden Gloves Promotions (GGP) fight publicist Terry Pettifer says Anthony van Niekerk has never trained harder than he has over the past weeks.

The 34-year-old fighter from Malvern, a former SA middleweight champion, is preparing to dethrone national light heavyweight king Daniel Bruwer.

That battle will top GGP's six-bout boxing card at Emperors Palace on Saturday night (May 31). Van Niekerk is a mature, durable and experienced campaigner with ring generalship while Bruwer, 13 years his junior, boasts youth and crude power.

This tournament is a tribute to Vuyani "Beast" Bungu. Promoter Rodney Berman, who guided the illustrious career of Bungu for 14 years, will honour this gentle giant of local boxing for his loyalty to him.

Berman will present Bungu with a five-figure cheque while Gree Air Conditioners has pledged its support by bankrolling this event.

Bungu won the IBF junior featherweight title and defended it 13 times under GGP, a record for a South African fighter who held a world title.

The likeable fighter from Eastern Cape remained humble despite his monumental achievements.

Meanwhile, three other titles, an SA heavyweight and two IBO bantam and junior bantamweight belts, will be at stake in undercard fights at the Centre Court in the Palace of Dreams.

IBO bantamweight champions Silence Mabuza fights Argentina's Damien Marchiano, Hawk Makepula fights Zolile Mbityi for the vacant IBO junior bantamweight title and SA heavyweight champ Osborne Machimana faces Myan Solomons.

In the light heavyweight division Jared Lovert fights Micus Diseko, while welterweight Boitshepo Mandawe faces Mbuso Ndlela.

Pettifer dubbed this tournament "Fists of Steel".