Xolisani “Nomeva” Ndongeni is optimistic that his boxing career will reach the highest level now that he will have some of his fights in the US.
The International Boxing Organisation (IBO) lightweight champion has signed a two-year co-contract to fight under Banner Promotions, a boxing consortium based in Philadelphia. It is owned by promoter Arthur Pelullo.
The 25-year-old boxer from Duncan Village in East London, who is also shepherded by Golden Gloves, will have his maiden fight under his new backers in the US in October.
“This is a dream come true,” Ndongeni told City Press.
“Every boxer who dreams of the big time dreams of America. I have outgrown South Africa, where I have fought and beaten all the contenders. I’m prepared to fight anyone. I won’t let my new promoter down.”
Ndongeni, who is undefeated in 21 fights, stopped Tanzanian Emilio Norfat in the first round in a title defence at Orient Theatre in East London April.
“I’m looking forward to making a mark in the US. This will only happen if I win all my fights there,” said Ndongeni.
His trainer Colin Nathan said the “ground-breaking” deal would hopefully take his charge’s career to new heights.
“Nomeva’s boxing run will definitely gain handsome dividends by fighting in the US, where we believe boxing competition is stiff,” said Nathan.
“This is an opportunity that he has taken with both hands as this will enable him to market his boxing skills abroad.”
Pelullo told Boxing News 24 that they were excited to sign Ndongeni.
“We look forward to helping him get the major opportunities that he covets and deserves.”
Ndongeni is the third local pugilist in recent times to throw his lot in with an overseas impresario.
The others are International Boxing Federation international bantamweight kingpin Zolani “Last Born” Tete, whose fights are staged by Briton Frank Warren of Queensberry Promotions, and Lusanda “Schoolboy” Komanisi, holder of the IBO featherweight belt, who is being showcased by Greg Cohen Promotions, also from the US.
There is a growing trend that has seen local fighters looking for foreign promoters.
The underlying reason for this move could be ascribed to the scarcity of sufficient fights locally due the dearth of promoters.
This anomaly was also precipitated by the television blackout, which led to fights not being screened.
With many top-class fighters coming through the ranks, there could be an export of more boxers in the near future.