Shaun Potgieter destroys Keaton Gomes to end his reign as SA heavyweight champion

Shaun Potgieter (left) lands a punch on Keaton Gomes during their Power House Boxing Tournament fight at Emperors Palace on April 5.
Shaun Potgieter (left) lands a punch on Keaton Gomes during their Power House Boxing Tournament fight at Emperors Palace on April 5.

Shaun “God's Warrior” Potgieter not only destroyed Keaton Gomes to end his reign as South African heavyweight boxing champion on Friday night but also exposed that the former champ does not belong in the sport's biggest weight division.

Gomes surprisingly weighed in at 110kg, 10kg heavier than Potgieter, but the truth is he belongs in the bridgerweight division where WBC has ranked him eighth. 

Bridgerweight is a new weight class, established by the WBC in 2020 and now recognised by the WBA. 

It can best be described as a super cruiserweight division which caters for smaller heavyweights like Gomes and his stablemate at trainer Peter Smith Kevin's gym, Kevin “Two Guns” Lerena.   

The latter is in fact the WBC interim champion of this weight division that sits just beneath heavyweight and above cruiserweight. 

Gomes threw his best shots and most landed but not even once did Potgieter flinch.

Ushered to top trainer Gert Strydom, the challenger fought a clever fight, reminiscent of former IBF heavyweight champ Francois “White Buffalo” Botha who ended the career of Flo “Demolition Man” Simba with a sixth-round stoppage in 2011. 

Botha used his weight to smother the 20-something-year-old prospect every time they got close and that strategy by the 42-year-old ring veteran drained Simba who used all his force to free himself. 

Botha kept on looking for the one heavy bomb and the opportunity came in the sixth round.

He sent Simba flying into the ropes and forced referee Thabo Spampool to stop the fight at Emperors Palace. 

Coincidentally it was Spampool who rescued a visibly vanquished, dog-tired Gomes from permanent demolition. 

Potgieter trapped Gomes, bleeding from his mouth, against the corner and landed a series of well-executed and perfectly timed combos to the unprotected head of Gomes before he finally went down. 

Gomes stood up before Spampool reached the full count of 10, but the former champ was in no way able to continue with the fight and Spampool waved it over.

The fight took place same venue for the Botha-Simba fight. 

Earlier on, Brandon “Fast Guns” Thysse and Darrin “Destroyer” Rossouw gave fans value for their money in their closely-contested 10-rounder which Thysse won by a split points decision. 

Ricardo “Magic Man” Malajika retained his IBO junior bantamweight belt by a deserved unanimous points decision against Marcel “The Chosen One” Braithwaite of Liverpool, England, in the main bout on the Golden Gloves “Power House” bill. 

The scores from all three judges were 120-108.

That victory was Maljika's first successful defence of the belt the 25-year-old champion won at Emperors Palace on September 2 last year after dominating previously unbeaten Kevin Luis Munoz of Argentina throughout 12 rounds. 

The fight on Friday night was Malajika's first under new trainer Manny Fernandes.


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