box-and-dine for hartman

BOXING promoters Jeff Ellis and Rodney Berman, altruists of note, are at it again.

BOXING promoters Jeff Ellis and Rodney Berman, altruists of note, are at it again.

Ellis and Berman have staged many box-and-dine events to raise funds for the needy, through their respective African Ring and Golden Gloves promotions.

The two announced yesterday that they would present back-to-back tournaments at Emperors Palace on March 29 and 30 to raise funds for Rodney Hartman, who is hospitalised with cancer.

Hartman who was communications director when the 2003 Cricket World Cup took place in this country, was once a Sunday Times sports editor and was a special writer for the Star newspaper.

He also wrote two autobiographies - one for Ali Bacher, then president of Cricket SA, and one for Hall of Fame inductee and former World Boxing Association (WBA) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) world champion Brian Mitchell.

"We are doing these tournaments to arrange funds in support of Hartman," Ellis revealed yesterday. "Everything goes to Hartman barring the costs of the items, which will go to whoever supplied us with the items."

Golden Gloves fight publicist Terry "Terrible Terrence" Pettifer said Hartman made his mark by also inspiring young sports writers to carry the sport forward.

Ellis said the tournament on March 29 has been dubbed "Thunder" and it features an array of young fighters including WBA Pan African lightweight champion Jason "Badman" Bedeman, Grant "Fireball" Fourie, Flo "Demolition" Simba and Sylvester Zaki.

Then on March 30, the bill that has been dubbed "Back-to-Back" features the national light heavyweight championship between Rupert "The Natural" van Aswegen and Balemo Weliya. The title is vacant after Boxing SA stripped Daniel Bruwer due to his inactivity.

The main supporting bout is between Basil "No Apologies" Ray and Msitu Mbaya of the Democratic Republic of Congo in the heavyweight class over six rounds while the charismatic Bongani Dlamini and tough-as-nails Nicholas Modibeng will slug it out in the lightweight division over six rounds.

Joey Stigling will fight Amon Nhlapho in the junior lightweight category while Ashley "Stimela" Dlamini takes on Johannes Ntotho in the junior featherweight class over four rounds.