fourie has big shoes to fill

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Emerging boxing star Grant "Fireball" Fourie is ready to walk in the footsteps of his uncle Pierre Fourie, one of the most lauded boxers South Africa has produced.

Grant, the son of Louis Fourie, is steadily making his name in the professional ranks.

He has chalked up six wins and a draw since making his professional debut in May last year.

Louis is Pierre's younger brother.

Pierre Fourie is the former Transvaal and SA middleweight champion who stunned the American boxing pundits in 1973 when he went the full 15 rounds with Bob Foster.

Pierre ultimately lost on points for both the WBC and WBA light heavyweight titles.

Two years later he went the same distance with feared Victor "The Animal" Galindez and lost on points for the WBA belt.

The tough as nails Pierre also dropped a points decision over 10 rounds to Richie Kates in a bloody battle that was refereed by Stan Christodoulou at Rand Stadium on May 15 1976.

Pierre's career ended in 1977 after he was blown away by a young and hard hitting Gerrie Coetzee.

Now Grant intends lifting the torch from his fallen uncle.

After making his professional debut in March last year, Grant still remains undefeated after seven fights, with six wins (four KOs) and a draw.

But he has left Harold Volbrecht and teamed up with Colin Nathan who has guided him to two victories.

Promoter Rodney Berman is excited.

"Grant is so much like Pierre when it comes to style, that I find myself getting goose-bumps when I watch him fight," he said.

"He could become one of the most rousing performers under the Golden Gloves. He is learning all the time and he owns a needle-threading left jab that picks up points as easily as people do rose petals."

Former SA heavyweight champion Mike Schutte says Fourie looks like a champion in the making while former heavyweight contender Jeff Ellis thinks Fourie has sublime talent and is improving with every fight.