‘Tommy’s finished as a fighter’ – furious Berman

_DSC0030Tommy Oosthuizen’s demons have caught up with him again.

The unbeaten boxer and his manager have informed Rodney Berman that he is in no condition to challenge WBA light-heavyweight champion Juergen Braehmer in Germany in March, forcing the cancellation of the big fight.

Oosthuizen’s drugs and alcohol relapse comes as a devastating blow to Golden Gloves, but is hardly a surprise given his actions in the past. He’s dropped out of fights previously and gone walkabout from Harold Volbrecht’s gym. He’s every inch the “bad boy” of SA boxing, a tag that will stick given this devastating turn of events. Continue reading

Hop, skip and jump to family boxing day


The great Willie Toweel, one of the best exponents of skipping in SA boxing history.

Promoters Rodney Berman and Jeff Ellis are going full-out to ensure Prospects at the Palace in two weeks is a family affair.

Boxing fans can not only look forward to 10 four-rounders featuring some of the country’s best talent. “Family” will be the theme of the day with a jumping castle plus hot dogs and popcorn for the little ones, who won’t have to pay to attend the tournament if they are under-12. Continue reading

‘Tommy Gun’ gets WBA title shot


Tommy Oosthuizen gets his long-awaited WBA title shot on March 12. Pic: N-Squared.

In announcing Tommy Oosthuizen’s world title bout against Juergen Braehmer on March 12, promoter Rodney Berman called it the “fight of his life” today.

Braehmer (47-2, 35 KOs) will defend his WBA world light-heavyweight title against “Tommy Gun” (25-0-2, 14 KOs) on March 12 at the Jahnsportforum in Neubrandenburg, Germany.

The bout was originally scheduled to take place last November in Monaco before a hand injury suffered by Braehmer forced the fight’s postponement. Now, fully fit, the reigning champion is relishing a return to Neubrandenburg, where he claimed the WBA world title back in 2013. Continue reading

Kamanga up for all challenges


Paul Kamanga and Hekkie Budler – the headliners at Emperors Palace on March 19. Pic: N-Squared.

Nothing seems to faze welterweight contender Paul Kamanga.

Told that he was fighting Russian hard man Roman Belaev in March, he was nonplussed.

“I’m very excited. He’s a lively, strong sort of guy and keeps coming, but I like that. He’s one dimensional, I’ll pick him off. I saw him fight in Monte Carlo, where he was very good, and I saw him against Ali Funeka. These are the sort of fights I want.”

The year reckons to be a vital one for Kamanga. If he comes through Belaev unscathed, he will fight a month later, in April, in the US. Continue reading

Budler earns Super status – and a tough hombré

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Hekkie Budler – Super champion to match his superstar status. Pic: N-Squared.

South Africa has its first WBA Super champion after the World Boxing Association confirmed Hekkie Budler’s elevation from regular champion this week.

It’s an enormous endorsement of the strawweight champion’s status and puts him in the league of Leo Santa Cruz, Gennady Golovkin, Sergey Kovalev and Tyson Fury, who all hold Super titles.

The announcement coincided with confirmation on Thursday that Budler’s next title defence will come against Nicaragua’s Byron Rojas (16-2), the 10th-ranked contender. He is also ranked number two by the WBC and number seven by the IBF. Continue reading

The remarkable story of boxing tyro Joshua Studdard

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Joshua Studdard, right, on the attack in his most recent fight, in 2015. Pic: N-Squared

He’s young, flashy, talks a charm and can fight.

Joshua Studdard is just four bouts into a pro career, but already he has made seasoned fans sit up and take note.

Still just 24, he’s already experienced many of the highs and lows of the fight game: frustration, disappointment, anger and elation. He’s a worldly-wise man, though, and isn’t backward in coming forward.

“My understanding is simple: I see myself as the future of the sport,” he says. “I’m here to make a difference.” Continue reading

Ryno lined up against world #3


World No 3 Erik Skoglund looms for Ryno Liebenberg. Pic: Courtesy Erik Skoglund.

The trouble with shouting out allcomers is that eventually someone steps forward.

That’s the case for Ryno Liebenberg, who looks likely to face fast-rising prospect Erik Skoglund in Europe in April after Sauerland Promotions agreed in principle to the fight.

The confident Liebenberg claims he will fight anyone at light-heavyweight so long as his promoter lines them up.

The Swede looks like the real deal. Unbeaten in 24 outings, he was particularly impressive in his last outing against Derek Edwards, the same man who KO’d current WBC super-middleweight world champion Badou Jack in 2014. Continue reading

ESPN opt for brilliant Budler

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It may have taken Hekkie Budler nine years to become an overnight success, but finally big-time recognition appears to be coming his way.

The popular champion will be returning to Emperors Palace on March 19 to defend his WBA and IBO titles – an announcement of an opponent is imminent – and major broadcaster ESPN is coming to the party.

Budler’s fight, his 14th with a world championship on the line, will be broadcast on one of ESPN’s affiliate channels with major take-up in the Caribbean and South America. Continue reading

Snips and Snipes


Vasyl Lomachenko.

I’m posting this because Eric Armit does such a fine job and his weekly missive deserves a wide audience. Pleasing to see Hekkie Budler crack a mention too. Enjoy.

by Eric Armit                                    

I don’t like looking back so I will look forward to the fights I would like to see in 2016 of course only with the help and permission of TV, Promoters and sanctioning bodies!

At heavyweight Tyson Fury vs Wlad Klitschko II-I didn’t believe the first time so I want to see it again. Deontay Wilder vs Alex Povetkin, at light heavy Sergey Kovalev-Adonis Stevenson and Andre Ward any combination out of those three. At super middle it looks like Arthur Abraham vs. Gilberto Ramirez is set and I would like to see James De Gale get a unification fight with anyone and Callum Smith vs. Badou Jack. At middle Gennady Golovkin-Saul Alvarez-Daniel Jacobs and Billy Joe Saunders obviously Golovkin vs. Alvarez first pick and Jacobs vs Saunders might be a good fight. Continue reading

Kamanga takes the rugged Russian route

Roman Balaev vs Ali Funeke pic Alex van der Westhuizen

Roman Belaev on the attack against SA’s Ali Funeka in 2014.

Golden Gloves has secured a major international fight on the undercard of a planned spectacular at Emperors Palace on March 19.

Details of the card topper are still under wraps, but promoter Rodney Berman has put together a cracking undercard fight between unbeaten Paul Kamanga and dangerous Russian Roman Belaev. Kamanga is very much a house fighter at Emperors, but Belaev knows the venue too, having given former world champion Ali Funeka a tremendous scrap there in 2014 for the IBO welterweight title.

The Russian was leading on one card when the fight was stopped in the 12th on the advice of the ringside doctor due to a cut around his right eye. Continue reading