Bang! Bang! Bang! Triple treat rolled out

Fighting men – with a notable exception – gathered at Emperors Palace. Pics: N-SQUARED

Golden Gloves heralded a whirlwind of action earlier today with the announcement of not one but three tournaments simultaneously.

In a first for local boxing, Rodney Berman took the unprecedented step of publicising his next three major tournaments – all to take place at Emperors Palace – with a galaxy of pro boxers in attendance.

They were all there, among them Thabiso Mchunu, Thulani Mbenge, Tommy Oosthuizen, Wade Groth, Keaton Gomes, Jay Jay Sonjica, Kevin Lerena, Jason Bedeman, Ryno Liebenberg, Lusanda Kominisi and many others.

The action begins June 23 with “Bombs Away” headlined by Mbenge challenging Diego Chaves for the vacant IBO welterweight belt.

Thulani Mbenge – on the verge of bigger things.

On August 10, “Reach for the Stars” is packed with excellent fights, not least Rowan Campbell’s SA super-middleweight title crack against Renson Hobyani. It will also double as a fund-raiser for the Reach for a Dream charity.

Three weeks later, on September 1, “Call to Glory” is expected to draw plenty of interest given that local bad boy Tommy Oosthuizen has signed a contract to fight the winner of the Mchunu-Ricards Bolotniks fight, which takes place later this month.

I’m now back . . . I’ve got a second chance at life – Tommy Oosthuizen

It’s a calculated risk for Golden Gloves, especially as Oosthuizen loves flirting with the dark side, but no-one disputes Oosthuizen’s talent. When he’s fit and focused, there’s no more natural fighter in South Africa. The fight will be at cruiserweight, adding another twist to the “Tommy Gun” storyline.

Happy to be back . . . Tommy ‘Gun’ Oosthuizen.

“We’re putting out practically our entire stable, so it’s an exciting time,” said Berman. “I’m very high on Mbenge, but this fight is a gut-check for him. If he’s going to contend with the big names, he must handle a big name like Chaves. I’ll likely ship him off to the US for action on a Lou Di Bella show if he wins well.

“Thabiso is matched tough too. If he wins, he’ll fight Tommy Gun, so that’s a great possibility. Then there are crowd-pleasers like Wade Groth and Rowan Campbell, not forgetting the pro debut of Gomes.”

There are several other intriguing fights spread over the next three months, among them Jarred Silverman against Jason Bedeman and Kominisi against Michael Mokoena, who boasts a win against Lerato Dlamini.

If that wasn’t enough, Berman let slip that he’s lined up a development show on October 21 and a world title bill on December 8’s “Christmas Cracker” ensuring festive cheer for SA fight fans.

FULL LINE-UP

BOMBS AWAY (June 23)

Jay Jay Sonjica v Tumelo Motsane (4 rounds, junior-featherweight).
Wade Groth v Andile Mntungwa (6 rounds, middleweight).
Rowan Campbell v Malkhaz Sujashvili (8 rounds, international super-middleweight).
Thabiso Mchunu v Ricards Bolotniks (10 rounds, international cruiserweight).
Thulani Mbenge v Diego Chaves (12 rounds, vacant IBO welterweight title).

REACH FOR THE STARS (August 10)

Jay Sonjica v TBC (4 rounds, junior-featherweight).
Jarred Silverman v Jason Bedeman (6 rounds, junior-welterweight).
Keaton Gomes v TBC (4 rounds, cruiserweight).
Wade Groth v Wynand Mulder (12 rounds, interim SA middleweight title).
Rowan Campbell v Renson Hobyani (12 rounds, SA super-middleweight title).

CALL TO GLORY (September 1)

Jay Sonjica v TBC (4 rounds, junior-featherweight).
Keaton Gomes v TBC (4 rounds, cruiserweight).
Wade Groth v TBC (if Groth wins the interim belt).
Lusanda Komanisi v Michael Mokoena (12 rounds, ABU lightweight title).
Ryno Liebenberg v Alfonso Tissen (12 rounds, ABU super-middleweight title).
Thabiso Mchunu/Ricards Bolotniks v Tommy Oosthuizen (12 rounds, ABU cruiserweight title).