Boxing fans get local bonanza

2010-07-25 10:46

Promoters have obliged by staging what fight fanatics are always

craving: local match-ups.

Due to either promoters’ working differences or a desire to protect

their fighters, fight lovers have previously been starved of what could have

been great fights between the best fighters in a division.

But that is changing, with Pat Molefe’s Rainbow Boxing Promotions

staging the first of five confirmed local contests.

National junior lightweight champion Sipho Taliwe will put his

reign in jeopardy against former titleholder Godfrey Nzimande at Nasrec Arena

this afternoon.

Also stepping up to the plate is Branco Milenkovic, who will stage

two locals-only IBF title fights in one tournament.

IBF flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane will take on mandatory

challenger Zolani Tete while the rematch between Cassius Baloyi and Mzonke Fana

for the IBF junior lightweight title will also take place.

Shortly thereafter Milenkovic will stage Jeffrey Mathebula’s battle

against Takalani Ndlovu for the rights to challenge IBF junior featherweight

champion Steve Molitor from Canada.

Another potentially explosive domestic clash will be between IBO

welterweight champion Lovemore Ndou and Bongani Mwelase, to be staged by Golden

Gloves at Emperors Palace on September 18.

After Sport and Recreation Minister Reverend Makhenkesi Stofile

called for exciting local match-ups during the boxing convention staged in

April, both Milenkovic and Molefe agreed that such fights were a

necessity.

Molefe, who also staged the epic SA lightweight battle between

Patrick Malinga and the dethroned Amon Baloyi, said such fights would reignite

the boxing spark of old.

“This is the route that we have to take.

The standard of boxing and

of our boxers will improve,” said Molefe.

“We are building our own local material.”

The Rainbow Boxing Promotions boss is worried about what is likely

to happen in this afternoon’s fight between Taliwe and Nzimande after tensions

reached high levels at the weigh-in this week.

“These two will kill each other. I foresee danger and am worried

about what will happen should it go the distance.

“It reminds me of the fight between Malinga and Baloyi,” said

Molefe.

Milenkovic concurred that local boxing lovers deserved to see top

local fighters squaring up against each other.

“Without doubt it lifts up South African boxing and also gives the

boxers international recognition.

We have on many occasions seen Mexicans and

Puerto Ricans fighting for legitimate world titles and now it is happening in

South Africa.

“The Mathebula-Ndlovu fight has been on the cards for many years –

almost eight – and everybody thought it was not going to happen,” said

Milenkovic.

Meanwhile, Eyethu Promotions will stage Nkqubela Gwazela’s SA

bantamweight defence against Phumzile Matyila on August 1 at Orient Theatre,

East London.



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