Berman plans to go global with boxing tournaments

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Rodney Berman says he has mapped out an extensive format that will incorporate world title fights at Emperors Palace, the United States, France and in other foreign destinations next year.

"We'll be entering one of the most exciting eras in the history of South African boxing," said the promoter who trades under the banner of Golden Gloves.

"In fact, with the breathless selection of young fighters at our disposal, I expect to see a pulsating start to 2009, and don't be surprised if we produce another two or three new world champions before June."

He said his first stop is the Palace of Dreams in Ekurhuleni where he will stage a "rip-roaring extravaganza" on February 14.

In that tournament Thomas "Merciless" Mashaba, Hekkie "Hexecutioner" Budler and Jake Els will challenge for international honours.

Mashaba will attempt to regain the IBO junior featherweight belt he lost in March to Cristobal "Lacandon" Cruz in the US.

This Mexican later vacated that belt. He challenged for and won the IBF strap.

Junior flyweight sensation Budler will fight Charit "Maanda" Mukondeleli for the vacant ABU belt while Chingangu from Zambia will defend the ABU heavyweight belt against Jake Els.

Berman added that his light heavyweight hot prospect Jared "The Storm" Lovett will appear in one of the undercards.

Berman will then hit France where Cruz and Philip "Time Bomb" Ndou will share the ring. This will be Ndou's comeback fight from a four-year retirement.

He will be ushered to war by trainer Micky Castellan.

Berman's calendar for 2008 ended last month with an IBF welterweight title eliminator between Isaac Hlatswayo and Delvin Rodriguez.

That fight was declared a draw. Neither fighter qualifies to challenge for Joshua Clottey's belt, instead Hlatswayo forfeited the IBO belt.