South Africa

SA boxing gets a mauling from Muller defeat - Berman

2015-09-02 12:39
Rodney Berman (Gallo Images)

More than just Johnny Muller received a mauling when he suffered a crushing third round TKO defeat at the hands of 2012 Olympic Games champion Oleksander Usyk in Kiev, Ukraine over the weekend.

"I warned Muller's handlers not to take on this bout against a fighter Usyk's experience, calibre and strength," lamented seasoned Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman.

"Now this fight has highlighted how so many South African boxers enter the professional arena without the right kind of grooming in the amateur ranks."

Muller had recently gained a highly controversial points decision over Mateusz Masternak at Emperors Palace on the outskirts of OR Tambo Airport, which Berman described as an embarrassment for South African boxing.

"Johnny, despite a gallant, whole-hearted display on that occasion, simply did not win the fight and the judges' decision was embarrassing to South African boxing.

"The word gets round in the international boxing fraternity and overseas fighters will simply not come to this country if they are in danger of receiving dicey decisions."

And Berman said that taking on Usyk, a far more formidable boxer than Masternak, was courting trouble for Muller.

"I told Johnny's handlers it was a dangerous gamble with serious repercussions," said Berman.

"Now Johnny has damaged his credibility as a drawcard and revealed that he has a great deal to learn about the basics of boxing before challenging fighters of Usyk's ability.

The Ukraine fighter has now won all his eight professional fights - including those against other South Africans Danie Venter and Daniel Bruwer - inside the distance after a distinguished amateur career of approximately 300 bouts.

"I'm afraid he not only beat Muller while showing all his skill and punching power," said Berman, "but he gave the South African who was touted as a boxer heading for the big-time a real beating.

"Most embarrassing," said Berman, "is that honest, but limited journeymen like Venter and Bruwer had at least lasted nine and seven rounds against Usyk, while Johnny could only go three rounds with the Ukranian boxing craftsman."

Read more on:    rodney berman  |  boxing

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