Christmas Cracker - by Terry Pettifer
When Jeff Ellis matches fighters, one can rest assured that the product mix leaves little to be desired, and his annual “Christmas Cracker” tournament at Emperors Palace on November 30, has the makings of an electrifying night of boxing!
IBO Africa lightweight champion Jason “Badman” Bedeman (9-0-2, 7 knockouts) will head the African Ring bill at the Theatre of Marcellus and the tournament, which will be held in association with Golden Gloves Promotions, has a total of fight bouts, stretching over seven weight divisions.
Bedeman’s opponent on the night will be Joseph
Modesi, whom he battled to a slam-bang draw in
their previous encounter! Ellis confirmed that the
bout will be fought over 8 rounds. Also featuring
on the fight roster is Grant “The Fireball” Fourie,
who’ll be looking to make amends after his thrilling
loss to Bedeman, last time out. The
Bedeman/Fourie encounter, which was for the vacant
IBO Africa lightweight title, was a blistering
encounter from the opening round and although
Fourie’s erstwhile trainer Colin Nathan tossed in
the towel after the Fireball had taken several trips
to the canvas, the contest was poised on a knifeedge
for most of the preceding seven rounds.
Fourie will be fighting Thulane Mbatha over 6 rounds at the lightweight limit.
“Experts will be keenly appraising how well Grant
fares in this fight, especially now that his father
Louis is coaching him” said Ellis.
The tournament organizers have announced
that this year’s “Xmas Cracker” is being dedicated to former Natal heavyweight champion Ron Ellis,
and one of the beneficiaries of the evening’s event
will be a 20-year-old lady Kerryn Roodt who was
recently brutally attacked and shot by robbers.
This young woman needs all the financial assistance
possible and Ellis has implored people to
support the boxing tournament and ‘Boxing Auction’
that will take place in the intermission between
“We ask that you all lend your support to this
badly injured young lady in order to enable her
family to make her a little more comfortable during
this traumatic period in her life” said Jeff.
An aspect of the event which should prove to be very interesting, is a boxing demonstration that will be conducted by Kathy Deftereos who is described as “Queen of Tribes Restaurant” by Ellis, and respected trainer John Kriege.
As for the rest of the bill, there is a potentially
explosive match-up, scheduled for 4 rounds between
the constantly improving veteran Stephen
Castle and Khayeni Hlongwane. Castle, who’s already
in his mid-thirties, has amazed pundits time
after time, and he’ll definitely enter the fray at Emperors
Palace as a confirmed favourite.
Also, sensational heavyweight newcomer Flo
“The Demolition Man” Simba (1-0) will be having
his second outing against Thato Tholano in a fourround
catchweight contest (92 kg limit) and Ellis
is betting that there’ll be strong support for the
South Hills whiz-kid on the night.
“Simba is one of the most exciting fighters that Rodney Berman has signed in years” said Ellis, “and I’m prepared to wager that he’ll become an
extraordinary talent over the next two years”.
Berman readily agrees and has confirmed that
Simba will be fighting in both the USA and UK in
Unbeaten junior lightweight Joey Stiglingh, who
fires leather-encased missiles with venom, will be
in action over 4 rounds against Stephen Ntshingila,
as too will trainer Colin Nathan’s other blossoming
prospect, Ashley Dlamini, who fights Balaganana
Ndou over 4 rounds in a featherweight bout.
“Stiglingh is a young fighter who could make
great strides in 2010” said Rodney Berman.
Finally, fight fans will be keen to see how Kyle
Smith performs in his 4 round junior welterweight
bout against Mbuso Ndlela. Son to the late Richard
Smith, the smooth-boxing Kyle may have the makings
to become a recognizable prospect in the
Morne Bothma features in the curtain-raiser on the night, when he takes on Nhlanhla Mguni in a slated 4-round event in the bantamweight division.