Fasten belts for return to boxing tournaments

Akani Phuzi and Chris Thompson in their bout in Randburg where Phuzi won by KO.
Akani Phuzi and Chris Thompson in their bout in Randburg where Phuzi won by KO.
Image: Nick Lourens

Fight fans must fasten their seat belts because it is clear that once rulers of this world announce the return to normal life, boxing will take off like a stolen vehicle.

Golden Gloves has suggested a tantalising line-up featuring four top-rated cruiserweight fighters - Akani "Prime" Phuzi, Chris "The Wolf" Thompson, Lebo Mashitoa and Keaton Gomes - to meet in what veteran promoter Rodney Berman calls Cruiserweight Super 4.

As has always been the case in such series that Berman started staging in 2012 with the Last Man Standing Super 8, the winner is promised 60% of the R500,000 purse money.

No date has been suggested as yet due to the uncertain nature of the coronavirus. But already the mere mention of the match-ups between these top-rated fighters has instilled some spark in the lives of local fight fans who have had to contend with disappointment after BSA postponed five tournaments in March.

One of them was the final of Berman's junior middleweight Super Four between Boyd Allen and Brandon Thysse which was to take place at Emperors Palace on March 21.

Phuzi is the reigning WBA Pan African champion rated No 1 for the national title held by Thabiso Mchunu. Trained by Alan Toweel Junior, Phuzi is undefeated after 11 fights.

Thompson is rated No 2 and the boxer, whose career is guided by Sean Smith, has nine wins from 11 fights. Third is Mashitoa who is trained by Lionel Hunter.

Gomes, who is trained by Peter Smith, is fourth in the standings. Thompson has a win over Mashitoa who, in turn, defeated Gomes for the Gauteng title last year.

Berman's planned tournament pits fighters who have an axe to grind against each other and that alone is enough to spice up the tournament which could produce that one boxer who will try to unseat Mchunu as national champion.

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