Johannesburg - Boxing fans will be in for a treat over the next two months as a number of big fights have been lined up on the international stage.
The first big showdown to get the punches rolling will be a 12-round heavyweight blockbuster featuring English giants David Hayemaker Haye and Tony Bomber Bellew.
They will exchange blows at the state-of-the-art O2 Arena in Greenwich in London on March 4.
The fight has generated much interest globally.
Haye, the former International Boxing Federation (IBF), World Boxing Association (WBA) and World Boxing Organisation (WBO) king, returned in January last year from a three-and-a-half-year absence from the ring with a first-round knockout over Australian Mark de Mori.
Haye succumbed to Ukraine’s Wladimir Klitschko in their fight for the IBF, WBA and WBO world belts in Hamburg in Germany in 2011, losing on a unanimous points decision.
Bellew holds the World Boxing Council (WBC) cruiserweight title, which he famously snatched by knocking out South Africa-based Congolese pugilist Ilunga Makabu in three rounds at Goodison Park Stadium in Liverpool in May. The crown was vacant.
Two weeks later, on March 18, Gennady GGG Golovkin – who currently holds the unified WBA (Super), WBC, IBF and International Boxing Organisation (IBO) middleweight titles – will stake his diadems against America’s Daniel The Miracle Man Jacobs. Their clash will take place at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The unbeaten, Kazakhstan-born GGG has been a revelation on the boxing circuit as his unbeaten record of 36 fights, 33 of them won by knockouts, can attest to.
Jacobs, whose career was almost cut short because of cancer and who went on to make a full recovery, holds the WBA title. He comes into the fight with 32 wins (29 of them by knockout) and one defeat in 33 outings.
Then there is the much-anticipated WBA Super, IBF and IBO heavyweight showdown between Klitschko and Anthony Joshua, which will be held at London’s Wembley Stadium on April 29 in front of a sellout crowd of 90 000.
Joshua boasts an unbeaten ring record of 18 wins, having won all his fights via the short route.
Their bout will pit the strength of Klitschko against his relatively inexperienced US challenger.