Plans on track to open Golden Gloves office abroad

Thulani Mbenge falls short with a right against Diego Cruz in a recent match. Mbenge's career will now be co-managed by US promoter Lou DiBella, says Rodney Berman. / Veli Nhlapo
Thulani Mbenge falls short with a right against Diego Cruz in a recent match. Mbenge's career will now be co-managed by US promoter Lou DiBella, says Rodney Berman. / Veli Nhlapo

Veteran promoter Rodney Berman has allayed fears that his Golden Gloves promotions is about to close shop and relocate to New York.

"It is a possibility in the long term to promote in the US but the immediate aim is to have a presence in the biggest market in world boxing," said Berman, making it clear that he will be opening a satellite office in the US.

"The truth is you must be in the main stream, whether it's London or New York.

"Yes, there are serious financial challenges caused by the rand-dollar exchange, but no, we are not relocating. Having an office there, staffed by insiders and experts - with their contacts - will allow us to look after the interests of Golden Gloves' fighters."

Berman will thus have feet on the ground; people pushing the interests of his stable, not least the likes of welterweight hotshot IBO champion Thulani Mbenge, who is already earmarked for an American debut next year.

"I have just signed a deal with Lou DiBella [an American boxing promoter] whose DiBella Entertainment stages fights almost every month.

"I want him to feature Mbenge who I believe is a future star that needs every exposure," explained Berman.

"So the satellite office in New York is for our fighters - Mbenge, Kevin Lerena, Thabiso Mchunu, Thomas Oosthuizen and Keith Gomes."

Berman will stage a big show at Emperors Palace on the East Rand on December 8. Recently crowned ABU cruiserweight champion Oosthuizen will defend against Mchunu in their rematch.

Mbenge will also put his IBO title on line against vastly experienced former IBF lightweight champion Miguel Vasquez, with Gomes featuring in the undercard.

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