Pena climbs ladder to stardom

2011-08-27 19:26

Angolan-born Demarte “Demolish” Pena is such a magnificent physical specimen that no one seems capable of stopping him from achieving his goal of becoming one of the best fighters in the world.

Pena painstakingly polishes his physique eight hours a day at the Tshwane University gym in his chosen martial arts disciplines, which include boxing, kickboxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu (ground fighting) and wrestling.

The carved biceps and triceps of the miniature Hercules were eye-catching when we visited his gym, where he was working out with his sparring partner, Borisvaldo Breganha exercised.

They were taken through excruciatingly agonising paces by coach Van Wyk Povey, a former world middleweight and multiple national champion.

“My father (Ben-Ben Pena) and uncles were soldiers so they instilled toughness in me,” said the man who has been an athlete for 13 years.

The death of his parents while he was still young also inspired him to become the best. The athlete said he still cherished the memory of his parents.

Pena has temporarily discontinued his third year BCom studies at Tshwane University.

“I got a chance to join world class Extreme Fighting Championship Africa and this is a helluva opportunity which I might not get again,” he said.

The unbeaten fighter turned professional six months ago and has won his only two professional fights in mixed martial arts against Mawande Mazithambe and Gean Luc Kazan.

Povey said: “I have trained a number of people but Pena is the first that takes his fight to the next level. In about five years he will become one of the best fighters on the planet.”

Pena was preparing himself for the vacant Extreme Fighting Championship Africa featherweight title fight against Leo Gloss at Carnival City on Thursday.

Meanwhile, heavyweight prospect Flo “Black Panther” Simb will be looking to banish the nightmare of his defeat by Francois Botha when he faces Zimbabwean Thamsanqa Dube in a scrap over eight rounds at Emperors Palace tomorrow.

Simba was unbeaten in 10 fights, winning nine on knockouts, before being taught a lesson by Botha.

The defeat robbed him of a scheduled showdown with another oldie, Evander Holyfield.

The Democratic Republic of Congo-born pugilist came to these shores as an infant and was touted as South Africa’s black heavyweight hope.

Dube, who has registered 12 victories in 14 professional battles, is no slouch either, having beaten Jack Ellis for the WBA Pan-African crown here in South Africa in 2009.

South African light heavyweight champion Tshepang Mohale faces Ryno Liebenberg over eight rounds in the main supporting bout of this box-and-dine Golden Gloves and African Ring Promotions bill.

Joey Stiglingh faces Jasper Seroka over six rounds in the junior lightweight category.

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