Boxing trainer, Josh Cloete, is hopeful that the weekend’s fight night at Vibrant Sports, in Enslin Road, Ottery, will become a regular feature on the Cape boxing calender.
Cloete, who established the club in November last year, said Saturday’s tournament was held to commemorate its first anniversary. A former military sports officer, Cloete has been involved with the sport for more than 30 years.
He says the aim is to host regular fight nights to help strengthen the sport in the province and to put boxing back in its rightful place among the top sporting codes. Fans who turned up were treated to a feast of fisticuffs as a number of fighters representing various clubs went toe-to-toe in various weight divisions.
Among the promising crop of young boxers who entertained the crowd on the night was Cloete’s son Josh Jr, 20, who beat Mitchell’s Plain’s Marco Daniels in a featherweight bout.
Cloete said the event was well attended and that they received some good feedback and entries for their next fight night set to take place on Saturday December 15.
“We are moving in the right direction in terms of boxing,” he said, adding that these fight nights are an ideal opportunity for youngsters like his son to test their skill ahead of next year’s provincial trials.
“What we do is to assist the local boxing federation with their development.
“As such, we abide by the federations’ rules, attire and discipline,” said Cloete, who recently obtained a Masters’ degree in sports science and is also a personal trainer, specifically focusing on boxing and strength training.
That said, the future of the sport lies firmly in the hands of the younger generation.
Following in the footsteps of his father, Josh Jr, a second-year student at UWC, is also pursuing a sports science degree.
Although equally passionate about kickboxing and other martial arts, boxing is in his blood, as both parents excelled in the sport – inside and outside the ring.
His mother, Dorothy, is a former professional bantamweight fighter who retired in 2006.
“I have been a part of the provincial and SA kickboxing team since 2009. I’m preparing for next year’s World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO) senior world championships, in Italy.
“My main goal is to bring back a gold medal, which is also why I am doing boxing,” he said.
Josh Jr said it took him a while to get to where he is, but hard work and training is the ultimate key to success.
“I always have to keep on training to get better and to fight anybody who is better than me.”
Regarding his performance on Saturday, he said: “I tried to keep my composure, to stick to the basics and work a lot with speed because my opponent was much taller than me.”
He said he was happy to have his friend and clubmate, Gregory Gans, in his corner.
Gans advised him to work on his jab and setup a big punch to finish his opponent.
Gans is also well-known in boxing and kickboxing circles as a fighter with a reputation for demolishing his opponents.
For more information about the club, call 074 143 4963.