Ludumo ‘9mm’ Lamati ready to fire punches in Belfast

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Ludumo Lamati is ready for war.
Ludumo Lamati is ready for war.


This week, South African star boxer Ludumo Lamati embarked on his first trip abroad since Covid-19.

Lamati, who turned 31 on Friday, left for Belfast, Northern Ireland, for what will be the biggest fight of his career when he comes up against a highly rated British opponent, Nick Ball, on Saturday.

In his quest for victory, Lamati took an 11-hour flight from Johannesburg on Wednesday to London. The boxer, who is from Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape, was accompanied by his trainer Phumzile Matyhila, having wrapped up his preparations at home with an intense sparring session.

After a two-hour wait in transit for a connecting flight, Lamati finally touched down at Belfast City Airport.

His team from Boxing 5 Promotions, which includes manager Larry Wainstein, Colin Nathan, Riyaz Bhyat and Marc Wainstein, will join him in the days leading up to the fight at the SSE arena.

Lamati told City Press that, with the journey out of the way – and a sizeable support structure by his side – he would prime himself for an optimal performance against his opponent.

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The South African featherweight kingpin will be challenging for Ball’s WBC silver featherweight crown.

The two undefeated boxers are expected to tear each other apart on the undercard of the Luis Alberto Lopez and Michael Conlan IBF featherweight championship bout.

Lamati said:

I’ve been in two months of intensive training, working on my skill, sharpness and fitness ahead of fight night. The management and trainers have done their part. Now it’s up to me to deliver a solid performance.

The boxer, nicknamed “9mm”, added: “We’re ready for whatever Ball brings to the ring. Going into this fight, I know what to expect from the champion. He’s a strong, forward-coming fighter with the same style of fighting [as mine]. I think I can handle him, as there’s nothing new he can offer. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not underestimating him or being overconfident. It’s just that I’ve done my homework.

He continued:

I take all my fights seriously and give 100% attention when preparing. That’s why I have an unbeaten record. I’ve employed the same mentality for this fight as well.

Ball, who is 25, is currently rated fourth by the World Boxing Council (WBC), eighth in World Boxing Organisation (WBO) rankings and 13th by the International Boxing Organisation (IBO).

A victory for Lamati could open more opportunities for him.

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According to Larry Wainstein, if he triumphs, he will face the winner of the fight between Lopez and Conlan for the IBF featherweight title. Wainstein believes this is the right time for Lamati to prove his worth at an international level.

He said:

This is the moment for Lamati to raise his hand and be counted among the best fighters in the featherweight division. If he wins, there are possibilities for him to enter the WBC world ratings.

Although Wainstein was unwilling to disclose the boxer’s purse figures, citing confidentiality, he said it was a good deal.

Lamati, who has been campaigning in the junior featherweight division for the better part of his boxing career, is not rated in the featherweight class.

The former South African and African Boxing Union titleholder is rated eighth by the International Boxing Federation, 14th by the WBO and 21st by the IBO in the junior featherweight and super bantamweight divisions.

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This will be the second fight for Lamati in the featherweight division.

He produced an outstanding performance to stamp his authority on his new division by a fourth-round stoppage against Filipino fighter Mark Anthony Geraldo in Durban in November.

At some point, it seemed as if Lamati’s career was going nowhere, after he signed a promotional deal with Southampton, UK-based Siesta Boxing Promotions. The deal failed to elevate his boxing career to the next level, as he only had one fight.

His upcoming fight in Northern Ireland could be his gateway to success.

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