new player steps in ring

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

World Sport Promotions (WSP), one of the most successful boxing promotions companies in South Africa, will stage its last tournament under Thinus Strydom at Graceland casino in Mpumalanga on September 5.

Strydom's greatest achievement as a promoter was on September 22 1990 when his charge Dingaan "The Rose of Soweto" Thobela won the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) lightweight belt from Mauricio Aceves in Texas.

Strydom, the former mayor of Barberton who has been associated with boxing for almost 20 years, has sold his empire to a Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) group.

He said South Africa needed a strong black promoter.

"I am confident that these guys will live up to expectations. I will still be there advising them," he said.

His son Eric will remain as operations manager.

The new owner from Gauteng, who asked for anonymity "for now", confirmed buying the company from Strydom and announced that Thabang Segooa will be managing director.

"I will be somewhere at the back," the new owner said.

Strydom's swan song on September 5 will feature a World Boxing Foundation (WBF) cruiserweight title clash between champion Zack Mwekassa, the Democratic Republic of Congo fighter who is based in South Africa, and Joseph Nagy from Hungary.

Mwekassa won the belt in his sixth fight (his sixth stoppage) against Gino Betoko last July. He is still undefeated after eight fights - with seven knockouts and a disqualification.

Nagy, nicknamed "Hangman", has an impressive fight record of 18 wins (12 KOs) against one defeat.

He is the former IBF International and WBA Intercontinental middleweight champion, who also held the European Boxing Association and IBF Intercontinental super middleweight titles.