Rothmann makes a return to the ring

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Boxing has proved once more that it is like a drug - you get hooked on it, you just can't get it out of your system.

Joe "The Brown Bomber" Louis, one of the greatest and most colourful boxers, was a victim of this disease.

Louis, from Detroit in the US, retired in 1949 while his popularity, dignity and respect were still intact. His last fight had been a split decision win after 15 rounds against Jersey Joe Walcott on June 25 1948.

But the craving struck and Louis was back in the ring two years later.

He was emphatically defeated by Ezzard Charles in a heavyweight world title fight that took place at Yankee Stadium on September 27 1950.

Louis soldiered on and chalked up eight straight wins against not so popular names until meeting an energetic up-and-coming hard hitter by the name of Rocky "Brockton Blockbuster" Marciano on October 26 1951.

Marciano handed Louis a terrific beating, stopping the erstwhile "Bomber" in the eighth round. That was the end for Louis who suffered only his third defeat against 69 wins (55 KOs).

That same craving has now ended the two-year retirement of Sebastiaan Rothmann. The "Soldier", a former SA, WBU and IBO cruiserweight champion, hung up his gloves on May 12 2006 after being badly beaten in four rounds by Ghanaian Moyoyo Aloryi Mensah for the vacant WBA Pan African title.

On Friday night Rothmann returns to the ring to fight Sean Santana, a titlist in the 2006 Baby Champs tournament, at Birchwood Hotel in Ekurhuleni.

Unlike Louis, Rothmann - who has 18 wins (12 KOs), two draws and five losses - is in no danger of losing against this mere novice of three wins (2 KOs) and one loss. He was floored by washed up fighter Patrick Madzinga.

In fact, it's a complete mismatch that should not have been sanctioned by Boxing SA.

Meanwhile, young talents Hekkie Budler and Grant Fourie will also be in action on Friday night.