Boxing match at Sun Arena sees Francois van Coke take on Derick Hougaard
Pretoria - Nothing like a good old “trash talk” before a big fight to get the momentum going.
It was no different yesterday at Sun Arena ahead of the Boxop event between rock royalty Francois van Coke and rugby legend Derick Hougaard.
The ego and testosterone could be cut with a knife as both men exchanged words of intimidation in the run-up to their fight on May 29.
They did, however, keep their sportsmanship and kept the audience entertained.
The first of its kind event will be hosted at Time Square’s Sun Arena. It will be screened live in select Nu Metro cinemas nationwide.
The two opponents are already slinging mud of an uncertain origin at one another. And supporters in both camps are biting their nails in anticipation of a knock-out blow that could come from anywhere.
Van Coke admitted that he had to make serious preparations for the fight against Hougaard.
“He was a professional sportsman,” said Van Coke, “and I’ve been in a fight or two in bars.”
He said he recently got angry during a screen session with his friend, the musician Frank Freeman. “I was hit hard and then I wondered, ‘how did I get here?’ I tried to make music and then I ended up in a boxing match.”
Hougaard said he and Van Coke were in the same boat when it came to exercise.
“I have not done anything for the past two years; he hasn’t for the past 14. I think we are now in the middle.
“People talk about muscle memory. But there is not much muscle memory in me. My muscles have dementia. I practise, the next day I feel great and the next day I cannot get up.”
Fans will be able to support their favourite in select Nu Metro movie theatres where the boxing match will be screened, or they will be able to watch it at home if they buy tickets online for R150.
In addition to the boxing match, there will be other forms of entertainment as well.
Van Coke rose to fame as the frontman of South African rock bands Fokofpolisiekar and Van Coke Kartel. He launched his solo career in April 2015.
Hougaard played flyhalf for the Blue Bulls in the Currie Cup and for the Bulls in Super Rugby.
He also played (for) Rugby Union in the same position for Leicester Tigers and Saracens in England.
Hougaard said boxing was not part of his plan. “Was it part of my plans? No,” he said. “But do I want to live in repentance and sorrow? Not at all. If that means I have to box to get myself out of it, this is my path and I will do it. Because facing your fears will set you free.”
Hougaard indicated he saw the boxing match as a comeback. “You can break a person, but you will never change who he is. He just needs to find himself again.”