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“We will find out if he is the real deal or not” – Jade Karam plans to end Rohan Date hype

Jade Karam [9(4)-5(2)-2] takes on a second Irish fighter this weekend, but it’s all a bit different this time around.

The Cork-based South African was outpointed over six by Belfast middleweight Alfredo Meli back in December but his fight this Saturday against Rohan Date [3(2)-0] in Waterford promises to be a bit different.

Versus Meli, ‘The Beirut Rebel’ came in at just five days notice. Now though he approaches his six-rounder with Date at the WIT Arena in the best shape of his life.

An eight-week camp completed and now down at light middleweight – with scope to move down further – Karam is confident he can spring a surprise in the co-headline bout of the inaugural Ring Kings show.

Training in Watergrasshill under Luke Thomas and former cruiserweight World title challenger Mike Perez, who also features on Saturday, Karam feels he is improving rapidly.

The Johannesburg fighter told Irish-Boxing.com that “training with Luke is great.”

“He is a great trainer with so much knowledge. I’m learning every minute I’m in the gym with him.”

“Mike Perez is a great help as he shows me all the finer detail and tells me exactly where I go wrong. He’s not afraid to speak straight with you. If he is upset with you, trust me, you will know. But we have a good team and we work well together.”

“Someone of Mike’s class is only an honour to train with.”

Much like Perez before him, Karam is cruising down the weights. The former South African amateur heavyweight champion believes it is improving his game and noted how “coming down in weight, I was afraid to lose power.”

“But, with Luke’s knowledge and the hard training we put in, I kept power and now have speed to go along with it.”

While it is a very different Karam to the one who fought Meli, the 27-year-old feels stronger following the short-notice scrap.

He described how “I loved the experience. It was good to stand toe to toe with someone of Alfredo’s class and go the distance with him. ”

“Myself and my team took a lot out of the experience and worked on things.”

As such, Karam goes into Saturday’s light middleweight clash full of confidence and feels he will have too much for the Dubai-based Déise fighter.


“I know a bit about Rohan,” said Karam. “He won the Golden Glove World Championships as an amateur, has three pro fights and is said to have the power of a bull – but that all just makes me want to fight him more!”

“Come Saturday we will find out if he is the real deal or not.”

“I have had eight weeks to prepare and work hard. I not only think that I will upset the home fighter, but I feel I will stop him.”

“I’m not being arrogant but he has never fought someone that can put him under pressure and, when he throws those powerful shots, I’ll still be coming forward.”

“He can surely give a punch. Saturday we will see if he can take one.”


Joe O'Neill

Reporting on Irish boxing the past five years. Work has appeared on irish-boxing.com, Boxing News, the42.ie, and local and national media. Provide live ringside updates, occasional interviews, and special features on the future of Irish boxing. email: joneill6@tcd.ie