Richards Bay gym delivers top fighters

2012-11-07 00:00

A SMALL Richards Bay gym is showing promise of producing some champion fighters. One of its members won Africa’s lightweight amateur mixed martial arts (MMA) championship at the weekend.

Martin de Beer (22), who trains at Garage Boyz Gym, beat the Westville-based titleholder Dean Grobler in the third of five scheduled rounds with a technical knock out.

And if a few more fights go in favour of the club, it could soon boast a top-ranked professional SA boxer and an African MMA professional titleholder.

“I got my opponent on the third round due to a ground and pound where I basically kept him on the ground and beat him,” said De Beer.

In 2011 he won the same title, but lost it again several months later.

“I hadn’t been in a cage this year. I had decided to take a break, only training four times a week and taking part in boxing, kick-boxing and grapple fights,” he added.

“But then a month ago we got the call asking if I was keen to go for the title. I wasn’t that disciplined before the fight but when I got in the cage I felt right and just did it,” said De Beer.

His coach Freddie “Rafferty” Horn said De Beer has promise as a boxer and could turn professional next year.

Gwayne Grech (24), the Garage Boyz Gym manager and a professional boxer rated 10th by Boxing South Africa in the cruiserweight division, said the club was proud of De Beer.

Grech is preparing for a fight in January which could see him promoted to fifth. His business partner, Jason Culverwell (25), is ranked third in Africa in the professional MMA league, the Extreme Fighting Championship.

“Myself and Jason are off to Thailand for about a month in December to undergo some intense training.

“Jason is hoping to get closer to having a shot at the EFC title and I want to move up the ranks,” said Grech.

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