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Johannesburg – Following Malcolm Klaasen's impressive victory over Cassius Baloyi at the weekend, Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman has announced he will make every attempt to secure the maverick fighter the chance to annex a third IBF junior-lightweight title.
While the 30 year-old Klassen holds the title of the less-acclaimed WBF association, his erratic behaviour outside of the ring Ä allied to contractual disputes with promoters and differences with trainers – has resulted in him fighting only twice in the last three years.
“In the right mood, Klassen is capable of beating almost anyone,” Berman said.
“He proved against Baloyi that he still retains all the boxing skill that earned him two IBF championship belts in the past.”
Berman said he had made contact this week with the IBF organisation in a bid to map out a course that would enable Klassen to challenge current IBF champion Juan Carlos Salgado for his title.
However, the obstacle that stood in the way of Klaasen regaining the title was that his lengthy period of inactivity had resulted in his ranking plummeting out of the top bracket.
The diminutive, and deceptively hard-hitting Klaasen would, therefore, need to work his way through top current IBF title challengers like the Dominican Republic's Algenis Mendes, the United States' Diego Magdaleno and Rances Barthelemy, and Argentina's Fernando Saucedo before earning a title shot.
Meanwhile, Berman also announced that the invitation to the imposing Klitschko heavyweight champions, Wladimir and Vitali, to be present for the final of next month's “Last Man Standing” cruiserweight series of contests was “regrettably turned down”.
“We thought it appropriate that the Klitschkos should be present because they both fought Corrie Sanders and have expressed deep feelings for the tragically murdered former WBO champion,” Berman said.
“We are dedicating next month's tournament at Emperors Palace in memory of Sanders, but unfortunately the Klitschkos have replied that they are tied down with previous engagements.” – Sapa