Nomeva eyes WBA glory

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­

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 (see box).

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.

Ndon­geni (23) feels this is the big year in which he will be el­e­vated to the big leagues of the WBA. The Mount Frere, Eastern Cape-born pugilist cur­rently holds the WBA Pan African light­weight di­a­dem. He is cur­rently ranked sev­enth by the WBA. His rank­ing gives him a per­fect chance to make a mark in his weight class and earn a chance to chal­lenge for the cham­pi­onship belt cur­rently held by Bri­ton An­thony Crolla.

“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 ninthround 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.


VIC­TO­RI­OUS Xolisani Ndon­geni with ref­eree Wally Snow­ball af­ter de­feat­ing Mzonke Fana at Em­per­ors Palace last year

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