Coach Matthew Leisching with his boxer, Tian Fick. Picture: Nicola Lubbe
Coach Matthew Leisching with his boxer, Tian Fick. Picture: Nicola Lubbe

Tian Fick set to fight Joshua Pretorious for SA heavyweight title

By Julian Kiewietz Time of article published Jun 12, 2020

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CAPE TOWN – Gym owner and boxing promoter, Matthew Leisching has something special lined-up for boxing fans and fighters across Cape Town.

“My business partner - Angelo Addinall - and I had a big boxing event lined-up for the 30th May. It would have been the first time a boxing event would’ve taken place in this location. It is going to change boxing in Cape Town,” says Matthew who cannot disclose the venue just yet.

The unfortunate and devastating Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and the subsequent lockdown had other plans, of course.

With South African President Cyril Ramaphosa implementing level 3 of the lockdown, many businesses have returned to work, but event-hosting, gyms, exercise centres and others remain a no-go.

However, the North Gauteng Division of the High Court delivered a ruling that lockdown regulations were unconstitutional and invalid after questioning various aspects of the lockdown provisions.

“The court suspended the declaration of invalidity for a period of 14 days, which means the alert level 3 regulations remain in operation for now,” a statement said on Tuesday, June 2.

From that point, the court gave the government 14 working days to rewrite the regulations, however the government has announced last week that it will appeal. Should the government lose its appeal, the judgement will be upheld and the government will have to rework the regulations which could see gyms open sooner - unless the President makes any changes in terms of the lockdown level (moving to 2 or 1).

If anything, the lockdown has given “Coach Matt” even more appreciation for what he does.

“Boxing is my life,” says the co-owner of MADfit MMA gym in Cape Town. 

Matthew and Angelo first hosted their joint event last year under the auspices of the EFO (Elite Fighting Organization).

The event which took place in August last year pulled a pretty strong crowd at the infamous Portuguese club in Milnerton.

With the goal being to give more fighters opportunities and platforms, Matthew is keen on hosting his next event.

“The venue was booked and all. The date will be shifted of course and the moment we are allowed to host, we will announce it. It is going to be awesome and we are very excited.”

Coach Matt’s prized fighter and number one South African Heavyweight title contender, Tian Fick (8-0) is set to also fight for the title as soon as allowed following the freak accident which saw the former title-holder Ruann Visser fall out of the ring just moments before their fight at the Camps Bay High School in December last year.

That fight was then called off before Ruann received a four-year ban effective February 2020 after testing positive for the anabolic androgenic steroid, Stanozolol.

According to Coach Matt, Tian will be fighting Heavyweight contender Joshua Pretorious (7-4) whom Tian already beat in June last year.

“As soon as boxing can go ahead, we will be fighting for the SA title, and then from there we will be going to the United States of America,” says Coach Matt who is currently living with Tian and his cruiserweight up-and-comer, Dylan Prosser.

Coach Matt was delighted to hear of the hyping Fight to Fame brand that has hit SA shores.

“Fight to Fame is a great initiative,” he says.

Fight to Fame is a new concept based on blockchain, movies and sport. The brand which is designed to create Hollywood movie stars out of real-life combat sports athletes is being rolled out to 200 countries - including South Africa - and will see fighters enter a reality show where they will be subjected to several assessments including stunt work and acting training.

“Any positive exposure our fighters can get, and any ticket that can lead to Hollywood is only beneficial for our athletes and our sport.

For more details, visit  www.fight2fame.com.

@juliankiewietz

IOL Sport

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