Xolisani “Nomeva” Ndongeni says he is looking forward to winning the World Boxing Association (WBA) title this year to join an exclusive group of South African boxers who previously held the crowns of this prestigious sanctioning body.
The list includes Peter “Terror” Mathebula, who was the flyweight champion, and Dingaan “The Rose” Thobela, who reigned supreme in the lightweight class.
SA WBA champs
Hekkie “The Hexecutioner” Budler – minimumweight (March 2014-present)
Brian “Mean Machine” Mitchell – lightweight (September 1986-September 1991)
Peter “Terror” Mathebula – flyweight (December 1980-March 1981)
Arnold Taylor – bantamweight (November 1973-July 1974)
Gerrie “The Boksburg Bomber” Coetzee – heavyweight (September 1983-December 1984)
Piet Crous – cruiserweight (December 1984-July 1985)
Dingaan “The Rose of Soweto” Thobela – lightweight (June 1993-October 1993)
Mathebula became the country’s first black pugilist to snatch a world crown when he dethroned South Korean Kim Tae-shik on points at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, in the US in 1980.
“My name was included in the WBA’s top-10 rankings this month. I am so happy, because this gives me the chance to win all my fights and go for the world crown,” said Ndongeni.
He said the WBA was a credible sanctioning body compared with many of the others.
“As a youngster myself, I’ve heard a lot about Terror winning the WBA crown and becoming SA’s first black champ. I’d like to maintain his legacy.”
Ndongeni is the stablemate of WBA and International Boxing Organisation minimumweight kingpin Hekkie “Hexecutioner” Budler, currently Mzansi’s most successful pugilist.
Unbeaten in 20 professional fights, “Nomeva” is trained by the dedicated Colin Nathan. The boxer is greatly admired by fans because of his exciting style, which often makes enthralled crowds break into song while he is pulverising his foes.
He beat Jasper Seroka by a ninth-round technical knockout to win the International Boxing Organisation crown at Selborne Park in East London, Eastern Cape, in November.
Nathan believes his charge is ready to prove himself against some of the finest WBA contenders before he gets a title shot.
“Ndongeni should win two more fights against quality fighters and go for the championship. I’m confident that my boxer will do it this year and join a great class of South African WBA kingpins,” said Nathan.
WBA representative Stanley Christodoulou, who is a veteran referee and judge, said Ndongeni needed to win convincingly before he could get a title shot.
“It’s good that he’s in the WBA top 10. He has to impress a lot before he earns a title shot,” explained Christodoulou.