Daniel "Billy the Kid" Bruwer could well be the most underrated South African champion at present, says Terry Pettifer.
The 22-year-old national light heavyweight champion produced a sensational 12th round stoppage of Anthony van Niekerk at Emperors Palace last weekend.
Their gruelling, feverishly fought seesaw battle that had the packed crowd on their feet, was one of the four title fights that took place at the Palace last weekend.
A bruised and battered Bruwer, who is trained by Nick Durandt, was applauded by some of his adversary's most loyal fans. Pettifer said among those was Johnny van Niekerk, Anthony's father.
"After choking off the disappointment of seeing his son get stopped with only 32 seconds left in the 12th and final round of a contest he appeared to have all but won, he [Johnny] praised the powerful champion for pulling off an incredible win," Pettifer said.
"Bruwer is one helluva fighter with the strength of a bull and the heart of a lion."
While both fighters dug into their barest reserves of stamina and courage over the final stretch of a bloody contest, promoter Jeff Ellis begrudgingly admitted that Bruwer's strength and resolve proved insurmountable on the night.
Bruwer's only setback to date was a narrow points loss to erstwhile super middleweight champion Andre Thysse a couple of years back, and besides one draw early in his career, he's now recorded wins in all but two of his 22 professional bouts.
Meanwhile, former WBA and IBF world junior lightweight champion Brian Mitchell was quoted saying: "Bruwer is a deserving SA champion, and with sufficient grooming and the right type of matchmaking, who knows, he could well go on to win an international title."