Recession won't hamper Berman's big fight plans

Promoter Rodney Berman has got a bumper boxing programme lined up despite SA's economic woes. Berman will feel the impact as he brings international boxers and officials into the country and pays them in dollars.
Promoter Rodney Berman has got a bumper boxing programme lined up despite SA's economic woes. Berman will feel the impact as he brings international boxers and officials into the country and pays them in dollars.
Image: Mabuti Kali

Recession or not, internationally renowned SA boxing promotions company Golden Gloves will not compromise on the standard of its tournaments, assured Golden Gloves boss Rodney Berman.

He was reacting to the fact that the SA economy entered into recession for the first time since 2009.

The rand stretched losses against the dollar to more than 2% and government bonds fell after the data was released.

Berman - who has been producing boxing champions for 40 years - feels the impact directly because he brings international boxers and officials into the country and pays them in dollars.

But the veteran promoter who staged the heavyweight championship between Lennox Lewis and Hasim Rahman in Brakpan in 2001, is not about to give up.

Instead, he is plotting a big year ahead.

"Action begins on October 21 with our exciting development tournament. Jabulani Makhense, Keaton Gomes and former top amateur Ricardo Malajike will feature.

"We've also got Boyd Allen making his debut from mixed martial arts ranks," he said on Thursday.

"Then we have a rematch between Thomas Oosthuizen and Thabiso Mchunu on December 8. Officials will be coming from outside South Africa.

"Then IBO [International Boxing Organisation] cruiserweight champion Lerena will headline our tournament in February with Thulani Mbenge defending his IBO welterweight title.

"The rand-dollar exchange will be at play here because we want decent officials to do justice to our tournaments," he added.

Berman staged the first World Boxing Council (WBC) world title fight in South Africa when Dingaan Thobela dethroned Glen Catley as the super-middleweight champion in Brakpan in 2000.

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