A helter-skelter five-month period awaits Golden Gloves and its fighters after Rodney Berman unveiled the calendar for the ensuing months.
The two-leg “Monte Carlo Million Dollar Super Four” events in Monaco, on March 30 and July 13, represent the crème de la crème.
The elimination event features Edwin Rodriguez 22-0; 15, Zsolt Erdei 33- 0; 18, Denis Grachev 12-1-1; 8 and Ezequiel Osvaldo Maderna 19-0; 13 with the two winners going forward to contest a $1-million purse (to be split 60/40).
One of the world’s best boxers, Gennady Golovkin, the undefeated IBO and WBA middleweight champion, heads the card. Ilunga Makabu will also feature, against Jean Marc Monrose of France.
On March 18, African Ring, in association with Golden Gloves, hosts the Tuff-E-Nuff tournament at Emperors Palace. In keeping with tradition, it’s top heavy with the country’s best young fighters.
A fortnight later, on April 2, Golden Gloves matchmaker Ruben Rasodi will wear his promoter’s hat with a development show in Orlando.
On May 16 in Melbourne, Malcolm Klassen will challenge for Will Tomlinson’s IBO super-featherweight title, with classy Ryno Liebenberg on the undercard against Garth Wood, who boasts a KO defeat of former champion Anthony Mundine.
Tommy Oosthuizen’s HBO return has also been confirmed, with a June 1 date now set in stone. Sources indicate that HBO are very keen to make him a “house” fighter, which reflects his value in the US. Berman intends for Sipho Taliwe to appear on the undercard, saying he deserves the opportunity given his recent form.
The action then returns to Emperors Palace on June 14 with a tantalising potential bill still in the making. Berman plans making SA junior-welterweight champion Mzolisi Yoyo an offer he can’t refuse to defend against Jason Bedeman, the number one contender.
Gideon Buthelezi will defend his IBO jnr. flyweight title in a rematch against Edrin Dapudong and then it’s back to Monte Carlo for the final of the “Monte Carlo Million Dollar Super Four”.
Harvest time for SA boxers
Leading SA boxers have been handed opportunities to show off their talents and drawing power and earn some money during the next few weeks. Several SA champions and former champions will be on show in four tournaments to be held in three days at Fort Hare, East London and Kraaifontein, followed by one at Carnival City a week later.
SA super-middleweight champion Balimo Weliya returns to action for the first time since October 9, 2011 when he makes the first defence of his title against Charles Oosthuizen at Fort Hare on March 16. Oosthuizen is ranked No 4 by Boxing SA.
On the same card Nkululeko Mhlongo, who won the national junior middleweight title on August 6, 2011, makes his first defence when he faces fourth-ranked Yanga Petani.
Also on March 16, Toto Helebe makes the first defence of his SA bantamweight title when he faces the No 1 contender, Klaas Mboyane, at the Bloekombos Secondary School in Kraaifontein near Cape Town.
SA junior featherweight champion Macbute Sinyabi defends his title against Thabo Sonjica at the Orient Theatre in East London on Sunday March 17. It will be the third fight between the two. Sinyabi, who boasts a record of 20-2, with 18 knockouts, won the first two in 2011, both inside the distance Sonjica, a southpaw from Duncan Village near East London, is ranked No 2 in the division. He has a record of 16 wins, two defeats – both to Sinyabi – and 12 knockout victories.
Sinyabi was born in Mdantsane, East London, but fights out of the Nick Durandt gym in Johannesburg. He will be making the tenth defence of his title. The tournament is promoted by Mzi Mnguni of Eyethu Promotions.
Branco Milenkovic, of Branco Productions, brings boxing back to Carnival City near Brakpan on March 23, with the main bout, an IBF junior featherweight title eliminator, is between former champions Jeffrey Mathebula, 33, and Takalani Ndlovu, 35.The IBF title is held by Jonathan Romero of Colombia.
It has also been reported that Vusi Malinga, a two-time world title challenger, will meet Filipino Diarh Gabutan in an eliminator to challenge for the IBF bantamweight title.
Lwandile Sityatha defends his SA flyweight title against Jackson Chauke in East London on Sunday April 7. On the same card Mzolisi Yoyo defends his national junior welterweight title against Thapelo Potwana.