World Boxing Association (WBA) Heavyweight Champion, Mike Weaver, of the United States, defends his title in South Africa on Saturday (25 October) against the local white challenger, Gerrie Coetzee.
GV & LV PAN Sun City Arena being prepared for WBA version of World Championship, Mike Weaver (USA) -v- Gerrie Coetzee (S.A.) (3 shots)
CU PAN FROM Coetzee physical adviser, Dr. Andre Ferreira speaking to Coetzee sparring with Ferreira voice over in English (white man)
CU Weaver at punch bag with second looking on (2 shots)
CU Weaver speaking to reporter in English
SV Floyd Patterson, former world champ, with reporters at Smuts Airport
CU Patterson speaking in English
FERREIRA: "There's no doubt about it, we now have a mature Gerrie Coetzee. There's no question that before we hadn't achieved his full physical growth. He is now stronger than I have ever seen him. In fact, he's looking one of the strongest heavyweight's I've yet seen. He's throwing his punches with tremendous power, hitting from close within the body. He used to be a little loose before. He's throwing his punches right from the shoulder. I'm especially impressed by his right hand. He's not only throwing an overhand right, he's especially throwing straight rights, which he throws so quickly he's catching his sparring partners before they even know the punch has left his shoulder. And all in all I think he's a mature complete and much better fighter than the one who fought Tate."
WEAVER: "I don't know about me pulling out of the fight. It's not going to change nothing. And by me going through with the fight it's still not going to change nothing. Everything goin' to be still the same."
PATTERSON: "Both men are very good offensive men. And they are both very good punchers. However, I don't particularly like the defence of either man. Niether have (inaudible) of a defence. So, I say, it will be a matter of who starts first, and who lands the first punch. A fight like this I do not expect to go the distance."
AVAILABLE FOR COMMERCIAL SALE
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: World Boxing Association (WBA) Heavyweight Champion, Mike Weaver, of the United States, defends his title in South Africa on Saturday (25 October) against the local white challenger, Gerrie Coetzee. 28-year-old Weaver wound up his training on Wednesday saying he was confident of retaining the title.
SYNOPSIS: The fight's to be held here in Sun City, a casino hotel resort, hewn out of the African bush. Coetzee's handler, Andre Ferreira, is confident.
Weaver is making his first defence of the title he won from fellow American John Tate last March. He knocked Tate out in the 15th round. Last year his opponent lost to Tate on points when they met for the crown vacated by Muhammed Ali, and the black American spoke of the politics of fighting a white South African.
Former champion, Floyd Patterson, was in town for the fight.