Plans for big show going well
Plans for the largest gathering of big-name boxers yet in South Africa are progressing well.
British heavyweights Tyson Fury and David Price are expected to join Evander Holyfield, Ray Mercer and Michael Grant in Cape Town at a date to be finalised in February next year.
Damien Michael, of Showpony Promotions, has released more details of the tournament.
Michael says the bill will include Fury, a former British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion, and Price the current British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion, who won a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympic Games.
Fury, who is ranked at No 6 by the WBC, has a record of 19-0, including 14 knockouts. He has fought the likes of Neven Pajkic, Derek Chisora and Vinny Maddalone.
Price stands at 13-0; 11 and is the British and Commonwealth heavyweight champion.
Red-hot IBO welterweight champion Chris van Heerden (18-1-1; 10) will take on England’s Matthew Hatton, a former European welterweight champion in one of the main bouts.
Hatton, whose brother Ricky held the WBA, WBU and IBF junior welterweight titles, has drawn with Lovemore Ndou for the IBO title and will bring a record of 42-6-2; 16 to the ring.
Former IBF cruiserweight champion Steve Cunningham is scheduled to take on former SA junior heavyweight champion Thabiso Mchunu (11-1; 9) in one of the undercard bouts.
Cunningham, an American who has a professional record of 24-4; 12, last fought in February this year when he lost to Yoan Pablo Hernandez in a clash for the IBF cruiserweight title.
Holyfield has held the WBA, WBC, WBF and IBF heavyweight titles during his long career and fought opponents of the calibre of Mike Tyson, Riddick Bowe, Michael Moorer and Lennox Lewis.
He is expected to take part in a four-round exhibition against Mercer, a former WBO champion and Olympic Games gold medallist. Mercer won the WBO belt in October 1991 when he stopped Tommy Morrison. He never defended it.
Holyfield’s record stands at 44-10-2, including 29 knockouts, and Mercer’s at 36-7-1; 29.
Billy Joe Saunders will defend his Commonwealth middleweight title against Jarrod Fletcher of Australia at the Wembley Stadium in London on September 14.
Former IBF super-middleweight champion Lucien Bute, who has a professional record of 30-1; 24, returns to action in Montreal on November 3. He will face Denis Grachev (12-0-1; 8) in a ten-round light-heavyweight bout.
WBA and WBC junior welterweight champion Danny Garcia is scheduled to defend his belts against veteran Erik Morales in a rematch in New York on October 20.
Gennady Golovkin of Kazakhstan will defend his WBA regular middleweight belt against European champion Grzegorz Proksa in Verona, New York, on September 1.
Bob Lonkhurst, who wrote Man of Courage, Gentleman of the Ring, East End Idol and Fen Tiger has written another book, Chatteris Thunderbolt – The Eric Boon Story.
Another interesting recently published book is Beloved Warrior: The Rise and Fall of Alexis Arguello by Christian Giudice, author of Roberto Duran’s biography, Hands of Stone.
Jim Dundee, son of the late Angelo Dundee, is auctioning a collection of memorabilia from his father’s estate. Among the items are the gloves worn by Muhammad Ali when he defeated Sonny Liston in 1964, Ali’s 1963 boxing licence and the gum shield he used in last fight against Trevor Berbick.
The proceeds of the sale will go to the Muhammad Ali Foundation and for medical care for Jim’s sister, who suffers from multiple sclerosis.
Hungarian-born Joe Bugner a former heavyweight contender who lives in Australia and faced Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Jimmy Ellis, Henry Cooper and Ernie Shavers, has been inducted into the Australian Boxing Hall of Fame. Former IBF junior lightweight champion Robbie Peden will also be inducted.
Magali Botha, who trained and managed amateurs and professional fighters at his gym in East London, was killed in a road accident recently.
Korda Manqina, a former fighter who promoted under the banner of Peoples Boxing Promotions, also passed away recently.