Simba hits the sweet spot

2015-04-12 15:00

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Diabetic boxer Flo “Black Panther” Simba aims to beat his illness – and Benjamin “Big Ben” Marcel Mulumba in the ring.

The fighters will slug it out over six rounds in the heavyweight division at Emperors Palace tomorrow night.

The fit-again Simba reckons he is in great shape after being out of action for more than two years.

The 25-year-old Democratic Republic of Congo-born Simba was granted a boxing licence in January, despite his condition.

This, some said, cast a negative light on the credibility of Boxing SA’s ability to appropriately monitor boxers.

But Simba, who suffered back-to-back first-round defeats in 2012, says he is ready for his comeback.

“My diabetes has been well under control for the period I have not been competing in the ring.

“I may be taking a risk by boxing, but I believe this won’t deter me during my next fight,” he said during a training session at the Hammer Gym in Boksburg.

Simba, who has chalked up a professional record of 12 victories and four defeats in 16 paid bouts, said he had been going to the Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology for the past two years, where his sugar levels were closely monitored.

“The experts there have also helped me understand diabetes in relation to sports and how to best monitor my lifestyle, especially when it comes to training and eating properly.

“I’m in good shape now – safe and ready to fight,” he insisted.

“I hear this man [Mulumba] is quite heavy and can pack a mean punch, but I have been working hard on my punching power.

“I will knock him out,” said a confident Simba.

Mulumba is a relative newcomer to boxing, with a professional record of four fights (two wins and two defeats).

He suffered a third-round technical knockout at the hands of Danie Venter in his last appearance at HTS Gardens Hall in Pretoria in October.

But Simba said he would not underestimate his foe simply because he had a short CV as a professional boxer.

Simba’s trainer, Harold Volbrecht, is also confident his charge will give a good account of himself tomorrow.

“His sugar level adversely affected him in his last fights; hence, he lost.

“We’ve monitored his condition well at training for the period that he’s been out of action.

“He is now in great shape,” said Volbrecht.

Meanwhile, the main fight on the Chesa Nyama bill will be between Warren Joubert and Lungisa Jikani for the vacant SA junior welterweight title.

Joubert, who hails from Johannesburg, comes in with a record of 21 wins, three defeats and five draws in 29 fights.

Jikani, of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, has compiled 14 wins and seven defeats in 21 professional bouts.

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