Luke ‘Sergeant’ Sutherland is itching to have another shot at South African heavyweight boxing champion, Ruann ‘The Giant King’ Visser.
Sutherland, who trains at Topbox Gymnasium in Fourways, suffered his first professional boxing defeat at the hands of Visser at The Battle of The Warriors 2: Vegas in Africa event held at Time Square Casino, Pretoria, on 21 October.
Pundits did not give the less-experienced Sutherland much of a chance in the eight rounder, which was an unsanctioned title fight. But not being one to back down from a challenge, the 34-year-old took the fight to Visser for the first four rounds.
He scored many punches, earning him points from the judges and also admiration from the crowd.
But accurate punches from Visser in the fifth and sixth rounds opened a cut above Sutherland’s left eye.
“I lost vision in my left eye because of the blood and twice I had to kneel because I could not see,” he said, explaining that he had to give the fight up two rounds short.
“I am quite happy to have lost the fight to Visser. I know that must sound crazy, but he felt my power, I rocked him hard.”
Sutherland has only three professional fights to his name – two wins including a knockout, and one loss.
He said he could not wait to fight Visser again for the SA heavyweight title.
Until then, he must prove he is worthy of a title fight by winning more pro fights.
There is talk of Sutherland’s next fight being early next year, though nothing has been arranged officially yet.
Sutherland’s trainer, Stephen Castle described him as a ‘thinker’.
“Luke is not a big heavyweight and has had to plan and strategise to win his fights,” Castle said.
Sutherland began boxing while still at high school, enjoying the discipline it instilled in him.
This helped him establish himself as an electrical engineer afterward while he put his boxing career on hold.
Only in the past few years, in his early 30s, did he take up boxing again, as Castle helped him progress from white collar boxing to professional boxing.
Sutherland even has his own clothing brand now, called SGT, as an abbreviation of ‘sergeant’.
His T-shirts and caps can be bought at Topbox.
Details: Topbox Gymnasium [email protected]; 082 496 9308.