A thrilling double dose of Super Four action is what boxing impresario Rodney Berman has in store for the next few months.
He revealed on Monday that plans are far advanced to align a featherweight and super-middleweight tournament featuring four top local fighters in each division, making for a dynamic contest.
The action would begin at Emperors Palace in October and conclude next February with specially-commissioned belts for each champion.
The Super Four is a proven concept, its success having driven Berman to come up with a 2017/18 version that ticks all the boxes.
In the first instance, he has buy-in from IBO champion Lusanda Kominisi, world title challenger Tshifiwa Munyai and SA champion Azinga Fuzile, who between them have a remarkable 56 wins with just four losses.
Berman is shopping around for a fourth entrant, although an obvious candidate could be hard-hitting Lerato Dlamini, the IBF Youth champion, who has hit a rich vein of good form.
First round fighters would each earn R175 000. The overall winner would take home an additional R300 000 with the runner-up pocketing R200 000.
What’s more, the winner would be guaranteed a place on a Banner Promotions bill in the US in 2018.
The super-middleweight group also looks dynamic with SA champion Lee Dyer, experienced Ryno Liebenberg, Alfonso Tissen and Patrick Mukala, the continent’s top-ranked fighter at the weight, all in the mix.
Having recently waged a 12-round war that ended inconclusively, Dyer and Tissen would feature in a rematch in the tournament’s first round, leaving Mukala to battle Liebenberg, who has decided to campaign at the lower division after a long run at light-heavyweight. The unbeaten Mukala is from the DRC and locally-based. Officially he has eight wins in eight starts, but undocumented fights are said to take his record to an admittedly unconfirmed 20 wins.
He would definitely be the dangerous floater in a pick-em tournament.
The super-middleweights would be paid per seedings for semi-final action, with Golden Gloves working out the placings. The champion would earn a R300 000 cheque with the second-placed fighter due to be R200 000 richer.
“The featherweights is a star-studded division and I’m confident this shootout can fly,” said Berman. “I’m working hard to put it together, but expect we have the makings of a great two-leg event. The same is true of the super-middles where some rivalries have long been brewing.”
Berman confirmed that the February finals would be co-features with a world title in the main event at Emperors Palace.