Simba in face-off with Billy the Kidin a lower division

2011-12-17 16:33

Flo “Black Panther” Simba’s first fight in the cruiserweight class is against knockout artiste Daniel “Billy The Kid” Bruwer.

They meet over 10 rounds at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park, Gauteng, on March 3 in a show to be staged by Golden Gloves Promotions (GGP).

GGP’s plan is to revive Simba’s career, the 22-year-old at one time believed to be South Africa’s future black heavy-weight hope in the lower division.

Simba captured the nation’s respect with his knockout victory in almost every fight, ultimately seizing the International Boxing Organisation (IBO) youth heavyweight crown.

This he accomplished by beating Chamunorwa Gonorenda in a fifth round knockout at Emperors Palace on January 27.

But the bubble burst when he faced legendary Francois “White Buffalo” Botha at Emperors Palace on June 4.

Botha, a two-time world champ, exposed the limitations of his adversary for five rounds and took him out in round six.

“I could have bombed him in round one but decided to carry the youngster,” said Botha (43) at the time.

Simba, having knocked out 11 of his 13 foes even though small for the heavyweight division, found himself at sixes and sevens against the far more experienced and harder-punching Botha.

Simba went on to be knocked out by Danie Venter, a man considered as cannon fodder, in round one of his last fight three months ago.

There was the view in the fight fraternity that Simba had been fed bums (palookas) and thus was easily able to take most of his opponents to slumberland.

GGP could have picked the wrong opponent in Bruwer, a fighter who has stopped 19 of his 26 rivals, losing only three matches.

Some of Bruwer’s competitive knockout victims are Ruben Groenewald, Ronnie Lategan, Anthon Niekerk, Soon Botes, Rupert Aswegen and Eduardo Rojas.

Brian Mitchell, Simba’s manager, said his fighter needed to be tested against tough opposition to prove that he had what it takes to re-establish himself.

Mitchell said: “We realise Bruwer could be a dangerous opponent for our man but he needs to beat tough opposition to prove he belongs at the top.”

Is Bruwer the wrong man at the wrong time for Simba? That question will be answered in the ring come March 3.

Mitchell, who is GGP’s publicist, said the bill would also engage IBO mini-flyweight champion Hekkie Budler and junior welterweight Kaizer Mabuza in world title fights against boxers still to be named.

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