By Ron Jackson
Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves Promotions presents the first bill of the year at Emperors Palace near Kempton Park on Saturday night when the all-action Roarke Knapp meets the experienced Frenchman Ahmed El Mousaoui in a ten round non-title junior middleweight bout.
The tournament will be shown live on Supersport.
Knapp, 24, who has a record of 15-1-1, 11 KOs, made his pro debut on 28 May 2016 and is one of South Africa’s most exciting young fighters who is never in a dull fight, as he likes to rumble.
On 19 December 2020 he captured his first title when he stopped Simon Dladla in under two minutes of the first round to claim the vacant IBO Youth junior middleweight title and in December 2021, he came back from three knockdowns before the rugged Cristiano Ndombassey retired in the fifth round, in a clash for the vacant WBA Pan African middleweight title.
His only was against Brendon Thysse in November 2019 who knocked him out in the seventh round in a real war. However, in a return bout for the vacant African Boxing Union junior middleweight title he beat Thysse on a 12-round split decision.
In his most recent fight in December last year, he outpointed the experienced Dante Jordon over ten rounds.
The 32-year-old Mousaoui (34-4-1, 8 KOs) made his pro debut in February 2009 and has captured the French and European Boxing Union welterweight titles.
His four losses have all been on points against Dieudonne Belinga, Jeff Horn, Ceferino Rodriguez. In his most recent bout against Davit Papot he lost on a split decision in a bout for the IBA junior middleweight title.
It is the cards that the experienced Mousaoui could extend the younger Knapp who should win over the long route.
South African junior middleweight champion Shervantagh Koopman (10-0, 7 KOs) makes the first defense of his title against Jackson Kaptein (6-1-1, 4 KOs) from the Free State.
In an interesting matchup junior bantamweight Ricardo Malajika (10-2, 8 KOs) meets Filipino Adrian Lerasan (12-4, 5 KOs) who fights from the southpaw stance.
In other bouts on the undercard, welterweight Keanu Koopman meets Xolani Selimane over four rounds and in a light heavyweight contest Michael Head takes on Penitence Trust Duma.