It’s boom time for SA box­ing, reck­ons Berman

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

THERE MIGHT have been win­ners and losers on Satur­day, but the up­side is all South Africa’s in the af­ter­math of an in­trigu­ing night’s box­ing at Em­per­ors Palace.

Pro­moter Rod­ney Berman said lo­cal box­ing looks strong with Simpiwe Konkco, Thu­lani Mbenge and Thabiso Mchunu, hand­ily placed to go onto big­ger things.

With WBC vice-pres­i­dent Houcine Houichi ring­side, Mchunu did his am­bi­tions no harm by com­pletely dom­i­nat­ing Johnny Muller with a top- 15 rank­ing in the WBC a likely spinoff.

This would mean two sta­ble­mates – Mchunu and Kevin Ler­ena – rep­re­sent SA in the in­ter­na­tional cruis­er­weight mix.

Mean­while, Mbenge did his chances no harm with vic­tory over Jay In­son. There might be flaws in his game, but the foun­da­tion is there for him to be­come a spe­cial fighter.

This was Berman’s reck­on­ing af­ter the young­ster beat In­son com­fort­ably. But it’s on­wards and up­wards for the SA wel­ter­weight cham­pion, now 11-0. Next stop is a likely meet­ing with for­mer WBC sil­ver belt holder Charles Manyuchi from Zim­babwe.

Berman had ku­dos for IBO strawweight cham­pion Konkco, who im­proves with ev­ery out­ing and had far too much in the tank for an out­gunned Lito Dante.

The dif­fi­culty with Konkco, Berman con­ceded, is keep­ing him busy enough to hon­our his prodi­gious tal­ent. Pres­sure on the lo­cal cur­rency means he isn’t fight­ing more than once or twice a year, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to pros­per as a pro fighter.

It’s a sit­u­a­tion that frus­trates Berman, who frets at the chal­lenge of try­ing to make mean­ing­ful fights amid a se­vere fi­nan­cial squeeze on all sec­tors.

For­tu­nately, there are still ex­cel­lent fights to be made lo­cally, which is why he’ll be sign­ing Lee Dyer and Al­fonso Tis­sen to a re­match, most likely in Oc­to­ber.

The pair pro­duced a mem­o­rable scrap on Satur­day that re­sulted in a draw..

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