Advertisement
Advertisement

Malcolm Klassen Puts Demons Behind Him, Pursues Glory

By Mesuli Zifo

FORMER two-time IBF junior lightweight champion Malcolm Klassen has endured trials and tribulations in boxing so much that he has vowed never to take things for granted again after being forced into two years of inactivity.

The 29-year-old will take on Mexican Damiel Limeli in a vacant WBF 130 lbs pound clash at Montecasino in Johannesburg, South Africa on Saturday.

The clash will mark the first time Klassen gets back to action since surrendering his IBF crown to American Robert Guererro on August 22, 2009.

Whilst Guerrero has engaged in four fights since his victory, Klassen has been kicking his heels at home owing to a bitter contractual promotional dispute with his former promoter Branco Milenkovic, that rendered him in limbo since.

And if you factor in Guerrero’s own personal problems when he had to take some time off from the ring to attend to his sick wife before resuming his career in the 135 lbs where he has since captured interim titles after his win over Michael Katsidis, you can understand the amount of frustrations Klassen has endured in the wilderness.

“That is the period of my career I would wish to forget,” Klassen said.

“I would not wish any other fighter to go through what I went through but I am only glad that I would be able to get back to the ring and I do what I love.”

Klassen (24-5-3, 15 KOs) was caught up in the crossfire of the promotional rivalry between two top South African promoters Branco Milenkovic and Rodney Berman when Berman was ready to let him fight for the WBC silver title against Filipino Vinvin Rufino last November.
With the fight already approved by the WBC, Klassen found himself trapped in the contract he signed with Milenkovic who refused to release him until he had repaid some money he owed him.

Berman was forced to pull him out of the fight, leaving the fighter unable to earn an income to support his family.

In a desperate attempt to make money Klassen was forced to travel to Indonesia to accept an offer to help WBA featherweight champion Chris John in sparring sessions in his preparations for his title defence against compatriot Daud Yordan in April this year.
But Klassen alleged ill-treatment by the John camp and the reneging in agreement of the financial terms.

The issue was so serious it nearly spoiled the diplomatic relations between South African and Indonesian governments.

Although Klassen denied that he owed Milenkovic any money he eventually repaid him to free himself from the contract but by that time no promoter was prepared to work with him.
After hopping from one manager to the other in his quest to seek fights, he finally decided to reunite with Nick Durandt who convinced the new promotion company Showpony Promotions to include him in their Saturday five- WBF title- tournament headlined by a heavyweight title clash between Francois Botha and American Michael Grant.

Just when Klassen thought that his demons were behind him and excited for finally getting back into the ring, another disaster struck when his original opponent Rafael Guzman was killed in hail of bullets in his home in Guadalajara, Mexico.

“When I was informed of the news I just could not believe the bad luck following me but my management team assured me that I would get another opponent,” Klassen recalls.

Indeed Lomeli was secured and after the Mexican arrived in South Africa this week,  Klassen is finally convinced that his long inactivity will come to an end.

“There is still so much that could happen between now and Saturday so I am holding my breath but so far things are running smoothly.”

And he is hoping that a victory will get his career back on track to pursue big money fights against other world champions in the 130 lbs.       

Tags: Malcolm Klassen image  
User Comments and Feedback (Register For Free To Comment) Post a Comment/View More User Comments (0)
Top Headlines Crolla-Barroso: Marcus Morrison Pumped For WBC Title Fight Holyfield Cautions That Khan Must Make Adustments At All Times Anthony Yigit Aims To Steal The Show at Barclaycard Arena Video: Virgil Hunter Discusses Factors in Canelo vs. Khan David Haye: I'll Be Surprised if Shannon Briggs Beats Dimitrenko Video: Lennox Lewis Hits Las Vegas For Canelo vs. Khan Canelo's Trainer: Golovkin is Not a Difficult Fight, It's Only Tough Hopkins: Big Not Always Better, But Canelo KO's Khan in 9 or 10 Glen Tapia on David Lemiex Fight: I Will Turn My Haters Into Fans Video: WBC Prez on Canelo-Golovkin Situation, Khan, Stevenson Hunter: Khan Winning is No Upset, Canelo is NOT Very Good Video: Evander Holyfield Breaks Down The Heavyweight Division Hunter Feels Canelo's Edge Due to Weight a Bit Exaggerated Video: Hopkins on Donald Trump, Caitlyn Jenner, Canelo-Khan Khan Says KO is Tough, Confident He Can Box Canelo's Ears Off Photos/Weights: Marvin Quintero vs. Petr Petrov, More De La Hoya: People Laughed at My Pacquiao Fight - He Retired Me! Video: Lucas Matthysse on Career Status, Future in Boxing Video: Eddie Hearn Talks Joshua, Fury, Crolla, Groves, Murray Photos: Canelo vs. Khan Undercard Final Press Conference Hunter Admits Amir Khan Lacking 'Killer Instinct' in His Arsenal Felix Diaz vs. Miguel Vazquez: PBC on FS1, 5/28 WBC: Adonis Stevenson Must Face Eleider Alvarez After Next Fight Video: Joe Gallagher Talks Crolla vs. Barroso Clash Canelo-Khan II Would Be Pursued in '16 if Khan Wins De La Hoya's Story in Doubt as Trump 'Great Golfer' Video Surfaces Alantez Fox Faces Milton Nunez on PBC on Bounce Video: Anthony Crolla Ready For Barroso Showdown WBC Prez: Mayweather is Champion Emeritus Like Klitschko Was Lemieux: I Still Believe That I Can Beat Gennady Golovkin Zolani Tete is Upset By Withdrawal of Zhanat Zhakiyanov WBC: If Khan Wins, He Can Choose Golovkin at 160 or Garcia at 147 Kermit Cintron Ready For Battle With Eduardo Flores Photos: Canelo vs. Khan Undercard Open Workouts Photos: Anthony Crolla, Ismael Barroso Go Face To Face Deontay Wilder Possibility Helped Draw Joshua To Showtime Broner: I Showed More In Maidana Loss Than In My Wins Khan: Look at Kell Brook's Last 10 Foes, Is It Worth Fighting Him? Jason Quigley: For Me - It's Live Fast and Die a Legend Hearn: I Made Derry Mathews Offer For Dodd on Bellew-Makabu
Advertisement

Latest Active Forum Threads
Advertisement
Advertisement