SA boxers won’t be KOd by swine flu

2009-09-12 14:39

MANDATORY challengers Simphiwe Nongqayi and Evans Mbamba face no extraordinary threat of ­contracting the deadly swine-flu ­virus in their trips to Mexico.

Nongqayi left with trainer Nic ­Durandt this week for Mexico, where he will face Jorge Arce for the vacant IBF junior bantamweight belt.

Mbamba meets WBC interim junior bantamweight champion Tomas Rojas next month.

The duo are the first South African fighters to journey to Mexico since an outbreak of swine flu (H1N1) in March.

Concerns were that Nongqayi and Mbamba could face health risks in Mexico, where more than 1? 600 ­cases of the disease were reported by April 26.

But Professor Barry Schoub, head of the Wits University virology ­department, said that now it was ­safer to travel to Mexico.

“The spread of the disease has come down. Chances of them getting it in Mexico are almost the same as anywhere else,” he said.

Schoub said no special precautionary measures needed to be ­taken by Nongqayi and Mbamba.

He warned though that should they show any symptoms of flu while in Mexico, they should ­neither train nor fight.

“It is important for them to not ­engage in any physical activity should they show flu signs,” said Schoub.

Promoter Branco Milenkovic said swine flu was the least of his worries ahead of Nongqayi and Mbamba’s fights.

“I don’t think Nongqayi and Mbamba are in any danger of getting swine flu,” said Milenkovic.

He added that necessary medical measures would be in place should the need arise.

Meanwhile, Durandt, Nongqayi and Leslie Sekotswe were detained for several hours in Germany, where they were to catch a connecting flight to Mexico as they were found to have entered without visas but were released after it was ­verified that they were in transit.

)?Two SA titles will be on the line at East London’s Orient Theatre on Friday.

McBute Sinyabi will defend his SA junior featherweight crown against Tendani Munyai while ­national mini-flyweight titleholder Tshepo Lefele will defend against Mawanda Sineko.

)?On September 25, Takalani ­Ndlovu will face Spaniard Kiko Martinez in an IBF junior featherweight eliminator at Wembley ­Arena, Johannesburg.

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