Nomeva eyes WBA glory
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