On what will arguably be the most significant boxing promotion in Pretoria, South Africa since John Tate’s 1979 world heavyweight title fight victory over Gerrie Coetzee, Real Steel Promotions, headed by former Super Middleweight contender Andre Thysse, will present three World Boxing Federation title fights on Saturday September 21 at the Heartfelt Arena.
The main event sees Johannesburg’s former South African Champion Danie Venter, 17-6 (12), take on Barbados-puncher Shawn “The Sniper” Cox, 17-2 (16), for the vacant WBF World Cruiserweight title, a clash that promises fireworks from the beginning.
34-year-old Venter, an accomplished amateur who fought in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and won bronze in the 2003 Commonwealth Games, turned professional in 2003 and won the S.A. Cruiserweight title in 2006, as well as the Gauteng Heavyweight crown in 2011.
In 2012 he returned to Cruiserweight and defeated domestic rivals Daniel Bruwer and Zack Mwekassa, before losing to world class operator Thabiso Mchunu who recently made an international breakthrough by defeating Eddie Chambers in America.
Venter has since returned to form with two victories this year, but will certainly get his hands full against the experienced and powerful Shawn Cox, who last year annihilated former world champion Wayne Braithwaite in one round.
Cox went on to challenge for a world title against Denis Lebedev in Russia, but came up short. He returned to winning ways this past February when he stopped Guyanese prospect Kwesi Jones, and “The Sniper” has reportedly arrived in South Africa determined to leave as World Champion.
Also on the card, the aforementioned Daniel Bruwer, 23-5-1 (20), will get his own chance to win a World Boxing Federation title, as he squares off with Switzerland-based Algerian Sofiane Sebihi for the vacant International Cruiserweight championship.
Nicknamed “Billy The Kid”, Bruwer is the reigning South African champion, a title he captured in his last outing by defeating Fikile Nyalunga this past June. In Sebihi he will be facing a man who has travelled abroad on several occasions to defeat a local hero, and who brings a stellar 20-4 (14) record.
The evenings third WBF title bout, for the vacant All Africa Cruiserweight crown, will be between 21-year-old local up-and-comer Kevin Lerena, 7-0 (5), and Ghanaian Ibrahim Labaran, 10-2 (9).
While it will be the first professional championship contest for Lerena, Labaran has already won both Ghanaian national and West African titles. Riding a ten-fight winning streak, he sees this as a big opportunity to become WBF Champion, and perhaps fight Venter or Bruwer next, should they also pass their tests on the night.
Billed as “No Guts, No Glory”, the big WBF Championship tripleheader will be preceded by a quality undercard including the third professional bout of Marcel Botha, son of former WBF World Heavyweight Champion Francois Botha.