Former champs take charge

THE ROSE:  Former WBC champion Dingaan Thobela. (Duif du Toit, Gallo Images)
THE ROSE: Former WBC champion Dingaan Thobela. (Duif du Toit, Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - The newly formed promoting body TLB Boxing Promotions, comprising former world boxing champions Dingaan “Rose of Soweto” Thobela, Lehlohonolo “Hands of Stone” Ledwaba and Jan “Kid Gavilán” Bergman, is hoping to throw its first big punch soon.

TLB Boxing Promotions will stage its first official tournament at an as yet undisclosed venue next month.

The trio joined forces and acquired a Boxing SA-approved promoters’ licence that allows them to stage boxing bouts in the country.

Unearth talent

Their decision to plough back into the sport of the fisticuffs came from what they claim is insufficient talent in the country.

Thobela held the World Boxing Council (WBC) super middleweight crown; Ledwaba was the World Boxing Union (WBU) and International Boxing Federation (IBF) featherweight king; while Bergman conquered the ring as WBU welterweight title holder.

Bergman said: “Our first event will be a development tournament in which we will unearth talent. We are busy sorting out a few things regarding youngsters to feature on the bill and the venue”.

He said they had been in the boxing industry long enough to understand how to manage new fighters and knew what was required.

Thobela said they would also target other former world champions, who would act as ambassadors to develop boxers to feature in their tournaments.

Thobela cited the likes of former WBC super middleweight title holder Thulani “Sugarboy” Malinga; Vuyani “Beast” Bungu,
the previous IBF junior featherweight king; and Masibulele “Hawk” Makepula, who held the WBU flyweight crown.

“These guys will come in handy for our promotions as they will identify boxers who we will promote to ultimately fight for national and international crowns in future,” said Thobela.

Local boxers

Thobela, who promotes fights in Namibia with former boxer Nestor Tobias, said they would also visit other provinces to discover new ambassadors.

“Through our new promotions, we will definitely make South African boxing a force it was like in the past, where many world title fights were contested and won by local boxers.”

The future of boxing will be bright if TLB Boxing Promotions makes a mark by promoting more boxing shows in the country.

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