Top trainer sees new Super 4 series as way out for his fighter
Golden Gloves urged to organise event for likes of Funeka, Mbenge, Van Heerden and Mulovhedzi
WITH the withdrawal of Mdantsane veteran Ali Funeka from his proposed fight against his homeboy Thulani Mbenge, the latter’s trainer Sean Smith has called on organisers to arrange a Super 4 in the welterweight division.
Smith’s call comes when his promoter Golden Gloves Promotion (GGP) has scheduled a similar series in the featherweight where four of the best fighters will collide at Emperors Palace next weekend.
This when Smith-trained Simpiwe Vetyeka comes up against boxing upstart Lerato Dlamini while the other semifinal berth will pit Duncan Village star Azinga Fuzile against Limpopo’s Tshifhiwa Munyai.
The series of which the final will be contested next February with R500 000 at stake for the winner, will crown the WBC international featherweight champion.
Mbenge and Funeka were initially slated to appear in the February event until the Mdantsane veteran turned down the fight carrying a meagre purse.
Smith now understands that it would be difficult for his charge Mbenge to get credible opponents at home having blitzed through all 12 of his foes in a brutal fashion.
“I think it will be hard to organise a credible bout in the welterweight for Mbenge,” he said.
“This is why I think a Super 4 in the welterweight division would go a long way in providing action for the likes of Mbenge. Perhaps Funeka would also be interested in such a series because it would pit the best against the best.”
Smith suggests that besides Funeka and Mbenge, other boxers who could be coaxed to enter, are Chris van Heerden and perhaps Tsiko Mulovhedzi.
“Imagine the interest such a series would generate in the land,” he said.
Smith’s call may bear fruit as GGP is renowned for its penchant to organise such series.
This especially as GGP can find all the boxers mentioned with the exception of Mulovhedzi whose contract with Xaba Promotions and Events is unclear at this stage.
On the other hand, Van Heerden has been itching to get back on the international scene and such a series would help his cause.
GGP, owned by Rodney Berman, first staged such a series in the cruiserweight where eight boxers were pitted against each other.
This led to the emergence of Thabiso Mchunu who went on to sign lucrative contracts with US top promoter Main Events after winning the series.
Berman had also scheduled a similar series in the light-heavyweight division to go with the featherweight one, but injuries to contestants Lee Dyer and Alfonso Tissen put paid to such plans.
The series is proving to be the way to go in boxing with the world now witnessing the Cruiserweight Super Series pitting eight boxers against each other.
With Muhammad Ali trophy up for grabs for the winner, already three boxers have qualified for the semifinals – WBO king Olexander Uysk, WBA ruler Yuneir Dorticos and WBC monarch Mairis Breidis – while the fourth spot will be filled by the winner of the clash between IBF king Murat Gassiev against Krzysztof Wlodarczyk in US next weekend.
The featherweight S4 will crown the best boxer in the division with the world being his oyster.
THULANI MBENGE – looking to facing the best fighters, but few fit the bill
CHRIS VAN HEERDEN – in the frame if a welterweight series bears fruit
TSIKO MULOVHEDZI – named as a possible participant of a Super 4 series