For­mer champs take charge

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

The newly formed pro­mot­ing body TLB Box­ing Pro­mo­tions, com­pris­ing for­mer world box­ing cham­pi­ons Din­gaan “Rose of Soweto” Tho­bela, Lehlo­honolo “Hands of Stone” Led­waba and Jan “Kid Gav­ilán” Bergman, is hop­ing to throw its first big punch soon.

TLB Box­ing Pro­mo­tions will stage its first of­fi­cial tour­na­ment next month at an as yet undis­closed venue.

The trio joined forces and ac­quired a Box­ing SA-ap­proved pro­mot­ers’ li­cence that al­lows them to stage box­ing bouts in the coun­try.

Their de­ci­sion to plough back into the sport of the fisticuffs came from what they claim is in­suf­fi­cient tal­ent in the coun­try.

Tho­bela held the World Box­ing Coun­cil (WBC) su­per mid­dleweight crown; Led­waba was the World Box­ing Union (WBU) and In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion (IBF) feath­er­weight king; while Bergman con­quered the ring as WBU wel­ter­weight ti­tle holder.

Bergman said: “Our first event will be a de­vel­op­ment tour­na­ment in which we will un­earth tal­ent. We are busy sort­ing out a few things re­gard­ing young­sters to fea­ture on the bill and the venue.”

He said they had been in the box­ing in­dus­try long enough to un­der­stand how to man­age new fight­ers and knew what was re­quired.

Tho­bela said they would also tar­get other for­mer world cham­pi­ons, who would act as am­bas­sadors to de­velop box­ers to fea­ture in their tour­na­ments.

Tho­bela cited the likes of for­mer WBC su­per mid­dleweight ti­tle holder Thu­lani “Su­gar­boy” Malinga; Vuyani “Beast” Bungu, the pre­vi­ous IBF ju­nior feath­er­weight king; and Ma­si­bulele “Hawk” Makepula, who held the WBU fly­weight crown.

“These guys will come in handy for our pro­mo­tions as they will iden­tify box­ers who we will pro­mote to ul­ti­mately fight for na­tional and in­ter­na­tional crowns in fu­ture,” said Tho­bela.

Tho­bela, who pro­motes fights in Namibia with for­mer boxer Nestor To­bias, said they would also visit other prov­inces to dis­cover new am­bas­sadors.

“Through our new pro­mo­tions, we will def­i­nitely make South African box­ing a force it was like in the past, where many world ti­tle fights were con­tested and won by lo­cal box­ers.”

The fu­ture of box­ing will be bright if TLB Box­ing Pro­mo­tions makes a mark by pro­mot­ing more box­ing shows in the coun­try.

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