Guerrero stepping stone to riches for Klassen

MALCOLM "The Stone" Klassen has lived with the fame, now the IBF junior lightweight champion is a step away from earning the fortune that has evaded him.

MALCOLM "The Stone" Klassen has lived with the fame, now the IBF junior lightweight champion is a step away from earning the fortune that has evaded him.

The dexterous fighter from Toekomsrus on the West Rand will defend against Mexican Robert Guerrero at Toyota Centre in Houston, Texas, on Sunday morning. Klassen's voluntary defence will be televised live on HBO pay TV worldwide just after 9.45pm on Saturday (US time). SABC2 will televise it on Sunday at about 4am.

The purse money Klassen will earn for this fight with "The Ghost" from Gilroy in California is not great but victory will hand the two-time world champion the combination to the safe.

"I'm happy to be fighting in the United States for the first time. I expect a tough fight, but I waited too long to win this title and I'm not about to give it up on August 22," Klassen said.

Guerrero, a ferocious lefty and former two-time IBF featherweight champion, said he missed being a world champion.

"I knew that after giving up my featherweight title I'd have to pay my dues all over again. I'm excited to have the opportunity to become a champion again. The fans should expect fireworks."

n SA junior middleweight champion Tshepo Mashego returns to Nasrec tonight, where he made an impression in 2003 when he stopped Vincent Vuma in the seventh round.

Mashego will fight Tanzanian Kamara Nyilawila over 10 rounds. The bout will be televised live on Blow by Blow at 10pm. Experienced Patrick Masango will fight Sifiso Msibi in a junior lightweight 10-rounder, while Emmanuel Duma will do battle with novice Khaphathe Mphambanyeni over six rounds. Admission is R50 and the action starts at 8pm.

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