Awake Southern Giant (Southern Giant XI 22 October) - by Anton Gillmore

Since its inception in 2001 the Southern Giant which was planned as a mechanism to kick start the Southern Suburbs Boxing Club after being dormant for years and now it has gone on not only to be a light house for the gym but for boxing itself.

Amateur boxing is very much alive as we have had MMA on the event and even professional boxing but it was the local derby of amateur fighters from the south that drew the crowd. Giants were made and featured at this event like Jared Lovett, Lee Dyer, Archie Katzen, Popeye Moganedi, Sylvester Zaki and Johnny Koen.

Remember Pops vs Lovett, Gates vs Katzen and Zaki vs Koen as these were the fights that put school boys right up there with southern legends. The Giant won the BSA eye when we presented the 2004 event and that event helped Anton Gilmore win most promising promoter of the year.

This event has changed the way we look at boxing events, for one they gave 3 cars away to lucky voyeurs, started the King of Pads competition, invited six different countries to take part and even had Carte Blanche do a story on the event where kids from Anton’s ‘Fight With Insight’ project for kids of sexual crime took part in the event.

As the event enters its 11th year of action we are once again presented with the biggest crowd pulling muscle in the South. Neill Knott, Mike Batten, Richard Keagan all fought for Aidan Gilmore at previous Giant’s and loved the taste of fighting so much that these business men decided to do it again and then Gregory Clark former South African jnr middleweight and middleweight champion suggested to Anton that he takes on old rival Lionel Hunter in an exhibition bout similar to the bout between Gilmore and Baloyi in 2010.

Greg and Lionel fought back in 1986 in October and ended when Lionel got a cut and eye and the fight was awarded to Gregory. Greg mastered the square ring in his career with ring craft and a very upright stance while Lionel was a feared opponent rated number 3 in South Africa, beating names like Sakkie Enslin and Freddie Rafferty.

Both agreed to a rematch and the biggest Giant is on its way to setting new attendance records.

If that was not enough Grant Messias called from Pine Town and congratulated Anton on doing all he can for the Aidan Foundation which cares for children with tumour based diseases like Anton’s son. He stepped into the fray and is also fighting on the day. His opponent is being kept a secret till the event day but the surprise will be well worth the wait. Once news broke of the heroes fight for Aidan at the Giant, Anton was called incessantly for tickets and tables. Sixty tables sold in 3 days but do not fear as the casual seats will be available on the day at the gate.

It’s a massive surprise to have Lionel Hunter and Gregory Clarke on the undercard of the Southern Giant amateur fights but that’s what happened and the main fights are what has always set the Giant apart from other events.

Who has heard of amateur pulling crowds of over 1000 voyeurs these days. Well the main fight this year will be the young Manny Pacquaio styled fighter Paul Kamanga from Southern Suburbs whom Anton Gilmore rates as the most talented fighter he has ever seen. A devout Christian and a marvelous soccer player are elements of Paul’s make up and he comes up against Northern Gauteng fighter Duran Ray, son of Basil Ray and is trained at Transwerke Amateur Boxing Club by Johann Prinsloo. This fight is Pac Man verses Olympic style boxing at its best. The heroes who fight for Aidan this year Neill Knott, Mike Batten, Richard Keagan and
Kevin Lubbe are all late bloomers in the fighting world but are by no means soft targets. These fighters who are 41, 43, 47, and 38 respectively will turn back the clock when they prove that age is a just a number.

The Aidan Foundation just mentioned that without heroes like this the lives of children like Aidan Gilmore would be devastating as the costs and effort to raise these children is massive.

Anton Gilmore says he thinks his ex wife is an incredible mother and when Aidan chose her to be his mum he made a great choice.

The day will also see the King of Pads competition sponsored this year by Auto Fever and will now known as the Auto Fever King of Pads competition.

After the boxing is finished we will continue the celebration of boxing till 11pm with DJ MDA being the spin doctor on decks.

Boxing starts at 2pm Saturday 22 October.