Finally ... Cape Town gets a heavyweight title fight
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CAPE TOWN - Cape Town will be staging a South African heavyweight title fight for the first time in two decades when the country's two top-ranked boxers Tian Fick and Joshua Pretorius fight for the vacant title on next Friday in Ottery behind closed doors.
Boxing heavyweight title bouts have been rare in the Mother City over the years. Promoter Jackie Brice had reason to believe that the last heavyweight title bout in Cape Town might have been more than a hundred years ago. However, a detailed search through the history books shows that in August 2001 Anton Nel fought Jokkie Oberholzer at the Parow Civic Centre for the vacant SA heavyweight title.
There was also the matter of SA heavyweight title fight which did not materialise a year ago after the boxing ring's ropes broke minutes before the start of the bout in Camps Bay. As a result, the bout and the rest of the programme was called off.
The scheduled Camps Bay bill would have seen the national champion Ruann Visser of Gauteng defend against Cape Town's Fick. However, during Visser's warm-up routine the ropes snapped, and he went crashing onto the concrete floor.
A short while after this no-show, Visser was banned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. Visser had tested positive for the use of an anabolic steroid. The latest news is that Visser's banning term has been shortened and he may return to boxing in June 2021.
As a result of the suspension, the title has been declared vacant and the number one ranked Fick will go up against KwaZulu-Natal's Pretorius, the SA number two. In their previous meeting last June, Fick emerged the winner on points.
As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, both fighters will go into the ring without the benefit of a bout in the past few months.
Fick, unbeaten after eight fights as a professional, has excellent reflexes and moves well in the ring. He has also shown he can take a punch.
Pretorius, after 11 bouts has suffered four defeats. He is a come-forward type of fighter and packs a powerful punch. He has had the benefit of the previous meeting and the word from his camp is that he will be much better prepared this time.
The main undercard bout will be a WBF (World Boxing Federation) Africa welterweight title fight between two Angolan boxers. Champion Antonio Mayala will be defending against fellow countryman Henriques Lando, scheduled for 10 rounds.