Stars come out for 'Sugarboy'

TONIGHT's tournament at the Theatre of Marcellus at Emperors Palace could play host to many boxing stars, says promoter Jeff Ellis.

TONIGHT's tournament at the Theatre of Marcellus at Emperors Palace could play host to many boxing stars, says promoter Jeff Ellis.

This is because Ellis' African Ring Promotions (ARP) and Rodney Berman's Golden Gloves will present a tournament aimed at raising funds for cash-strapped boxing legend Thulani "Sugarboy" Malinga.

Among the boxing legends who have confirmed they will attend are International and World Hall of Fame inductee and former IBF and WBA junior lightweight king Brian "Mean Machine" Mitchell, former WBA and WBO lightweight and WBC super middleweight champion Dingaan "The Rose of Soweto" Thobela and former four-time world champion Jacob "Baby Jake" Matlala.

Malinga, born in Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal 54 years ago, was the first South African ever to win a WBC belt. He achieved that feat on March 2 1996 at the expense of Nigel Benn in Britain.

Tragedy struck when Malinga's house burnt down with his grandson Sabelo trapped inside.

Ellis and Berman promoted most of Malinga's fights. Their tournament tonight includes an auction of sports memorabilia.

"We hope to raise good money for Sugar," said Ellis, who staged the first-ever All Africa title here at the Wild Coast Sun in Eastern Cape, which Malinga won via a fifth-round stoppage of Ray Acquaye. That victory enabled Malinga to challenge Benn.

Topping the bill tonight is Hekkie "Hexecutioner" Budler, who Doctor Ntsele will challenge for the junior flyweight belt.

Former SA and Commonwealth super middleweight champion Andre Thysse makes a comeback against Emmanuel Duma over eight rounds.

Stephen Castle fights Kali Kelembe in a heavyweight four-rounder while Simon Mokoena makes his debut under trainer Manny Fernandez against David Basanjamburi in the super middleweight class.

There will be four more fights.The action kicks off at 7.30pm.

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