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

Daily Dispatch - - Sport -

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

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