Johannesburg – Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman, who once hailed Flo Simba as a potential world heavywight champion, has urged his prodigy to retire at the age of 23 after the likeable DRC-born fighter's career plummeted with four stoppage defeats in his last six bouts.
At the same time on Friday, 24 year-old Thabiso “The Rock” Mchunu, who dealt Simba two crushing first-round tko defeats in his last two fights in the Super Eight “Last Man Standing” series, has been hailed by his management as South African boxing's new sensation.
“I want to sit down with Flo, not as a promoter, but as a father figure,” said Berman, “and urge him to do what I consider to be in his best interests.
“In my 35 years of involvement in boxing, I've never dropped a fighter simply because he loses,” said Berman.
“But after his recent bouts I am worried about his welfare if he continues inthe ring.
“I don't care what criticsm my views might now arouse, but his health is as more important issue than pursuing the dream of boxing glory.
“Flo is a bright, loveable guy,” said Berman, “with a lot of talent in many directions and he has a bright future in engineering after studying at university.
“But I believe he has had his time as a boxer.”
And with indications that the end of the career of the heavyweight who switched to the cruiserweight division after crusty, 43 year-old former IBF champion Fransie Botha first exposed his vulnerability to a stinging punch may well be on the horizon, attention has switched dramatically to the Pietermaritzburg-born Mchunu.
In contrast to Simba's eclipse, Showpony promoter Damian Michael announced he had been inundated by offers of fights for Mchunu following last week's summary annihilation at Emperors Palace.
Mchunu is now due to meet a revitilised Danie Venter in the final of the “Super Eight” series on November 10 in what should demonstrate whether his sensational victories over Simba were a genuine indication of his prowess.
Michael said attractive fights in Germany were already on the cards for the destructive boxer who resembles a mini-Mike Tyson in his early days in the ring.
“But Mchunu is more than a boxing talent,” said Michael. “He is a genuine personality who has already demonstrated his ability by obtaining a musical diploma and as a model as well.