Grudge clash grabs spotlight

2012-07-07 16:26

Flo Simba and Thabiso Mchunu meet in September quarterfinal

Rarely has the undercard stolen the limelight from the main contestant in such a way as in the forthcoming battle between Flo “Black Panther” Simba and Thabiso “Muscleman” Mchunu.

They will meet in a Nashua Cruiserweight Super 8 series quarterfinals at Emperors Palace on September 22.

The fight fraternity is much more absorbed in the Mchunu-Simba grudge clash than in the main bout, an International Boxing Organisation mini-flyweight title fight between Hekkie Budler and Florante Condes.

And another bigger battle on the bill – a World Boxing Council international super-featherweight title fight between Mzonke Fana and Sipho Taliwe – has also been lost in the shuffle.

Fans and connoisseurs cannot wait to see what will transpire in the Mchunu-Simba fight.

Simba suffered from a controversial decision last month when referee Tony Ngangiwe prematurely intervened in round one, declaring Mchunu a first-round TKO winner of the semifinal fight.

Simba was indeed on the receiving end but the stoppage was unwarranted as Harold “The Hammer” Volbrecht’s charge was still in the fight.

His camp would not take the decision lying down and filed a protest with Boxing South Africa (BSA), the sport’s governing body.

BSA took a decision that there should be a rematch, though, unfortunately for Simba, the first-round TKO decision still stands.

Tongues wagged about how the fight would outshine others before the boxers had even ducked under the ropes and touched gloves.

Simba was initially thought to be South Africa’s new black heavyweight until the bubble was burst by Francois “White Buffalo” Botha (sixth-round knockout) and Danie Venter (first-round knockout).

Simba had previously stopped 10 of his 14 opponents in spectacular fashion.

Mchunu, a fighter with vigorously pronounced biceps and triceps, still stands between Simba and the rekindling of his dream.

Mchunu was defeated only once and has knocked out six of his 11 adversaries.

Simba, a once-respected knockout artist, has been given the opportunity to prove that Nyangiwe dealt him an unjust blow below the belt.

Boxing followers are thrilled about the grudge encounter, and the duo is expected to come out bruised, battered and bloodied – sacrificed to the judges’ nod.

In another semifinal, favourite Zack Mwekassa, the man who blemished Mchunu’s record, takes on Danie Venter.

Mwekassa eliminated Tshepang Mohale in round one and Venter beat Daniel Bruwer on points in the quarterfinals.

The other semifinal between Johnny Muller was called off because his foe, Israel’s Ran Nakash, was grossly overweight.

Muller is not taking part in the series because his camp then “changed plans for his career”.

The thought of finally snatching the R75 000 carrot dangled by Golden Gloves Promotions chief Rodney Berman should also spur on the combatants.

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