Proud moment for boxing ref

2017-06-22 06:01
Clifford Mbelu here in charge of a local boxing match at the Khayelitsha Mall, will now oversee a world title fight in Namibia. PHOTO: voox sonandzi

Clifford Mbelu here in charge of a local boxing match at the Khayelitsha Mall, will now oversee a world title fight in Namibia. PHOTO: voox sonandzi

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Seasoned Western Cape boxing official, Clifford Mbelu, will finally realise his dream of officiating in a world title fight when he adjudicates a World Boxing Federation (WBF) welterweight world championship bout between Bethuel “Unstoppable” Ushona and Roman “The Lion” Belaev in Namibia on 1 July.

Mbelu, a referee and judge, has been appointed by the WBF as the third man in the ring when Namibia’s Ushona puts his title on the line against the up-and-coming Russian prospect.

The Eastern Cape born father of two, who has officiated regional and international title fights, is ecstatic: “This is a dream come true for me, I’m very excited about this huge task entrusted to me.

“To get picked for a world title fight, especially one on foreign soil, is a confidence booster,” said the former boxer.

Mbelu, who currently lives in Litha Park in Cape Town, says he has been on duty in Namibia many times but this time will be different. “The fact that I will be the third man in the ring for a world title fight is very special to me and will be a big boost for my career. It would give me exposure, so doing well will be very important,” he said.

Besides officiating on the African continent the well-travelled Mbelu was also on duty in Bogotta, Colombia, two years ago when Bernard Donfack made his second title defence against Alexander Brand.

Mbelu was also the referee when Namibia’s veteran boxer Paulos Moses took on Cosmos Checka for the World Boxing Organisation’s African crown.

Speaking to VisionSport the elated Mbelu thanked the WBF for having faith in him and promised not to let the federation down.

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be chosen. I know it’s a huge task and I’m equal to it,” he said.

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