'Baby Jake' won't fight 'Hawk'

2001-07-01 17:53

Johannesburg - South Africa's four-time world champion Jacob "Baby Jake" Matlala is not interested in fighting Masibulele "Hawk" Makepula in a proposed rematch by Golden Gloves Promotion which was to be held at Carnival City, Brakpan in August or September.

Their first meeting ended on a bad note when a clearly vanquished Makepula was adjudged the winner to retain the WBU junior flyweight title at the same gaming resort last August.

Only a few agreed with the judges' decision, while an overwhelming majority believed the pint-sized Sowetan was robbed. That controversial defeat killed Matlala's dream of becoming the only paid boxer in South Africa to win four world titles in different weight divisions.

He went on to drop a points decision to Peter Culshaw, but with a heart as big as the ocean, the 40-something Matlala made up for those losses by stopping Australian Todd Makelin in four rounds to claim the vacant WBU junior flyweight title in February.

His aspiration of becoming the four-time world champion was fulfilled, so he saw no point in fighting Makepula.

"I am just about to retire and I plan to retire on a high note," he said. "I know I will not win that fight.

"I worked hard to be what I am today, and it will be foolish of me to damage all my hard work overnight."

He said it would have been even nicer if he was to fight for the fifth title rather than face Makepula, who suffered a points loss against Irene Pecheco for the IBF flyweight title in America recently.

"That is the guy he should be challenging because I think he has the chance to reverse the decision. He looked strong in that division," he said.

Matlala's illustrious career dates back to the 1970's. He won 198 of his 199 amateur fights before turning professional in 1980. Currently he boasts a paid fight record of 50 wins, 11 defeats and three draws.

"Golden Gloves must get me a fight which will be my first defence but my last fight," Matlala said.

Meanwhile Richard Dunbar has dangled a carrot in front of Gauteng junior lightweight champion Joshua Kgoase.

Dunbar said his boxer could square up to big name fighters in the near future provided he wins his six-rounder against Johannes Bothmann at Gosforth Park on Friday night.

Kgoase's last fought was when he won the provincial title recently against Collin Mutsila, while Bothman is still trying to come to terms with the severe punishment he received from Takalani Ndlovu in April.

Dunbar, who manages Kgoase said: "We are speaking to the sanctioning body's representative in South Africa, and providing Joshua wins this fight, he could be propelled into a major bout in the not too distant future."

Samuel Malinga, who earned a unanimous points win over a big-hearted 20-year-old Gordon Mofolo, will fight Ernest Gwebani in the lightweight division over four rounds.

Patric Twala and Mzwabantu Plaaitjies will trade leather over six rounds in the flyweight category.

The rest of the Stallion Security sponsored nursery tournament is (all four rounders):

Catchweight: Ariel Mathebula v Peter Mngadi

Featherweight: Eric Khoza v Godfrey Nzimande

Lightweight: Nelson Chauke v Johannes Mohlala

Junior welterweight: Kaizer Mabuza v Samuel Tshabile