east versus south in ring

GLORY BOUND: Rising stars Jason 'The Batman' Bedeman, left, and Grant 'Fireball' Fourie during a press conference at Emperors Palace yesterday. Pic: Mohau Mofokeng. 11/08/2009. © Sowetan.
GLORY BOUND: Rising stars Jason 'The Batman' Bedeman, left, and Grant 'Fireball' Fourie during a press conference at Emperors Palace yesterday. Pic: Mohau Mofokeng. 11/08/2009. © Sowetan.

THE Centre Court, a 2500-seater venue inside Emperors Palace, could be too small for Golden Gloves' Boxing Extravaganza, a five-bout bill on September 12.

THE Centre Court, a 2500-seater venue inside Emperors Palace, could be too small for Golden Gloves' Boxing Extravaganza, a five-bout bill on September 12.

This is because this bill, which has been dubbed "Night of the Gladiators" by promoter Rodney Berman, includes two rising stars who command huge support from the east and south of Johannesburg. Grant "Fireball" Fourie and Jason "The Batman" Bedeman will fight for the IBO Africa lightweight title.

They have made great strides since they turned professional in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

Fourie, 26, the nephew of former Transvaal and South African middleweight champion Pierre Fourie, boasts 10 wins (7 KOs) and a draw while Bedeman, 20, has eight victories (6 KOs) and two draws.

These white hopes could have been steered along separate routes but the lure of a local super-fight could not be ignored.

On July 11, another rising star, Thomas "Tommy Gun" Oosthuizen, won the IBO light heavyweight youth title after outpointing Jared "The Storm" Lovett.

That fight, again pitting a fighter from the east against an opponent from the south, attracted huge crowds. It was also presented by promoter Berman at the same Palace of Dreams near OR Tambo International Airport in Ekurhuleni.

A fortnight ago Fourie blew Amos Nhlapho away in three rounds while Bedeman drew with Joseph Modise after six bloody rounds. Fourie and Bedeman came face-to-face yesterday during the presentation of their fight at Emperors Palace.

"Bedeman is in for the fight of his life. There will be more action in 30 seconds of this fight than what they saw throughout 10 rounds between Oosthuizen and Lovett," said Fourie, whose skills are honed by Colin Nathan.

Bedeman, who is trained by Manny Fernandez, said this was the first step for a young man on his journey to big dreams.

"It came just at the right time. I won't disappoint my fans," he said.

Oosthuizen will fight Brazilian Cleber Alves for the IBO super middleweight youth title while WBO light heavyweight champion Isaac Chilemba will defend against Douglas Otieno from Kenya.

Zolani Marali will defend the IBO lightweight belt against South Korean Ji Hoon Kim.

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