Klassen on road to riches

HE HAS lived with the fame, now International Boxing Federation champion Malcolm "Stone" Klassen is a step away from earning the fortune that has evaded him until now.

HE HAS lived with the fame, now International Boxing Federation champion Malcolm "Stone" Klassen is a step away from earning the fortune that has evaded him until now.

Promoters Branco Milenkovic and former nine-time world champion Oscar de la Hoya, have given the fighter from Toekomsrus in the West Rand the combination to the safe.

Klassen will make the voluntary defence of his IBF junior lightweight belt against Robert "The Ghost" Guerrero in the Branco Sports Production-Golden Boy Promotions bill at Toyota Centre in Houston, Texas on August 22.

The tournament will be broadcast live to millions of viewers around the globe by America's biggest cable network, HBO, Milenkovic announced yesterday.

The Klassen-Guerrero fight will be the main supporting contest to the non-title 10-rounder between Juan Diaz and Paul Maligaggi.

"I have no doubt that Malcolm will be victorious, otherwise I would not have considered a voluntary defence against Guerrero," Milenkovic said.

"I could have opted for an easier opponent here at home or even abroad, but trainer Nick Durandt reminded me that he does not call his fighter 'Surprise' for nothing. I obliged. A win will secure Malcolm the ticket to return to America and feature on HBO again while fighting in the big league for big money."

He said the Klassen-Guerrero clash will also be televised live on SABC Sport in the early hours of August 23 .

Durandt said Klassen needed to shine.

"He knows what is in store for him," he said.

"My mother always warned me when growing up not to worry about ghosts. She said they are dead, so Guerrero is dead. The Stone will flatten him."

The boxer himself simply said: "Once more people will be surprised."

Klassen was superb when he took the IBF crown from Cassius Baloyi after a seventh-round stoppage on April 18, and he could rediscover that form.

X