Former boxing promoter Damian Michael died on Wednesday night after a long battle with cancer. He was 42.
The young Michael burst on to the boxing scene in flamboyant style when he promoted the WBF heavyweight title fight between South Africa’s Fransie Botha and American Michael Grant at the Sandton Convention Centre on November 19, 2011.
Botha was on his to a victory when he was sensationally knocked out flat on his back in the twelfth and last round.Michael even managed to bring out the well-known ring announcer Michael Buffer for the tournament.There were also a number of other low key world title fights on the bill, but the tournament proved to be a financial disaster.
At a young age Michael proved to be a shrewd businessman, investing and making money in two restaurants, Chefs in Motion and My Grill Bar.
He was subsequently bought out and registered as a promoter under the name of Showpony Promotions.
In his first ventures into boxing he started with a number of development shows before the Botha vs Grant promotion.
Another one of his extravaganzas held at the Sandton Convention was on March 2, 2013 with England’s Matthew Hatton outpointing South Africa’s Chris van Heerden over 12 rounds to retain the IBO welterweight title, in another tournament that cost him heavily.
He was also part of the promotion of the fight between South Africa’s Thabiso Mchunu and Eddie Chambers on August 3, 2013 in Uncasville, USA. Mchunu won on points over ten rounds.
Michael came on the boxing scene at a very young age and was generous towards the local fighters in his time as a promoter.
After being diagnosed with cancer last year he moved to Austria and will always be remembered as bringing a breath of fresh air to the local boxing scene in South Africa.