Must-win for veterans

Raymond Kupula and Gert Strydom.

When a fighter start wondering if they should keep boxing or call it a day then the signs are there that he/she is close to the end of their career.

What happens when two fighters who are to face each other are talking about hanging up the gloves?

This is the situation when veterans Thompson Mokwana and Raymond Kupula square off on March 1 at Turffontein.

Kupula comes into the fight after being away from the ring for two years and he had to think long and hard if he wants to get back to the sport.

“Raymond took a year break from the sport to regroup and to give it some thought what he wants to do in future and he decided to come back,” his trainer Gert Strydom said at a press conference recently.

“Both these boys are at a level where they need wins in the next fight can elevate them to the next level and bigger opportunities will come from this.”

Mokwana is coming off a three fight losing streak where he was stopped by Simpiwe Vetyeka, Michael Mokoena and Ayanda Nkosi.

Mokwana believes fighting at lightweight proved to be costly for him as he struggled with weight when he held the South African title.

“I’ve been struggling with weight for a couple of years but remember when you champion you become arrogant and you don’t want to lose the title even when you are struggling with weight. You just want to fight because of money,” Mokwana told the media.

It is clear that the winner of the fight will probably have a few more bouts left but what happens to the loser?

With both men well into their 30s it is difficult to see how the boxer who doesn’t have his arm raised in this headline fight of the BRD card can continue with his career. This could be a case of win or call it a day.

The card will also see the return Joshua Studdard who last fought in 2017 as he has been nursing an injury. He will take on Saul Bokwane.

“These two years have been a humbling experience,” said Studdard.

He will be looking to getting back to the days when he was one of the most talked about prospects in South Africa.