SA box­ers have failed to win top WBA, WBC ti­tles for more than

10 years

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­ (see boxes and graphic).

For many years South African box­ers have not suc­ceeded in lift­ing cred­i­ble World Box­ing Coun­cil (WBC) and World Box­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (WBA) ti­tles. The WBC and WBA are widely recog­nised as the most pres­ti­gious world sanc­tion­ing bod­ies for the pop­u­lar sport.

Se­cur­ing cham­pi­onship belts in the WBC and WBA is a big deal glob­ally, and do­ing so can add a great de­gree of cred­i­bil­ity to a boxer’s ca­reer – not to men­tion in­creas­ing his earn­ing po­ten­tial.

Then there’s the In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion (IBF), where Mzansi cham­pi­ons have man­aged to fea­ture suc­cess­fully for many years.

Although be­ing an IBF ti­tle­holder is note­wor­thy, it is not as prized as the WBC and WBA crowns.

The In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion (IBO), World Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion (WBF) and World Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WBO) ti­tles are, in turn, con­sid­ered in­fe­rior to WBC, WBA and IBF ti­tles.

South Africa has seven world cham­pi­ons – five of them IBO ti­tle­hold­ers and two with WBF belts

Un­for­tu­nately, there has been a marked ab­sence of lo­cal cham­pi­ons in the WBC for more than a decade.

Thu­lani “Sugar Boy” Malinga be­came the first lo­cal fighter to win the belt in 1996 when he beat English­man Nigel “Dark De­stroyer” Benn by split de­ci­sion in their su­per mid­dleweight clash in New­cas­tle, Eng­land.

Din­gaan “The Rose” Thobela was Mzansi’s last boxer to hold his own in the WBC. This was in 2000 when he knocked out English­man Glenn Cat­ley in the 12th round at Car­ni­val City in Brak­pan, Ekurhuleni.

But South Africa has not pro­duced a WBC cham­pion in the past 15 years.

South Africans have not been ex­tremely ac­tive in the WBA ei­ther.

Hekkie Budler is the sole ti­tle­holder. He cap­tured the then va­cant WBA min­i­mumweight crown in March last year.

This was af­ter he pole-axed Colom­bian Kar­luis Diaz in the first round at Em­per­ors Palace in Kemp­ton Park. Budler also holds the IBO crown. In 1986, Brian “Mean Ma­chine” Mitchell cap­tured the WBA ju­nior light­weight ti­tle with a 10th-round knock­out win over Pana­ma­nian Al­fredo Layne.

Mitchell, pos­si­bly the best South African boxer of all time, suc­cess­fully de-


Com­piled by Pule Mokhine

Mbulelo Botile won the IBF feath­er­weight crown and took the IBF feath­er­weight belt in 20000 Hekkie Budler el­e­vated to the WBA min­i­mumweight ti­tle holder

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.