Ri­vals serve up box­ing treat

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

East­ern Cape box­ing fans will en­joy an early Christmas bo­nanza on Fri­day night, when two lo­cal box­ers bat­tle for the South African ju­nior light­weight ti­tle at the Ori­ent The­atre in East Lon­don.

The clash will in­volve cham­pion Aphiwe “Baby Face” Mboyiya, who will put his crown on the line against Phila Mpontshane in what prom­ises to be an­other en­tic­ing in­stal­ment in the sto­ried Dun­can Vil­lageM­dantsane ri­valry.

The en­counter, staged by Xaba Pro­mo­tions and Events, fol­lows a thrilling South African feath­er­weight ti­tle con­test be­tween Macbute Sinyabi (Mdantsane) and Azinga Fuzile (Dun­can Vil­lage) at the same venue in Septem­ber.

The Mboyiya-Mpontshane show­down will be the sup­port­ing bout of the In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion (IBF) in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal ju­nior ban­tamweight cham­pi­onship fight be­tween cham­pion Maka­zole “The Pro­fes­sor” Tete and Filipino chal­lenger Jonas Sul­tan.

The clash be­tween the East Lon­don pugilists threat­ens to up­stage the main bout, with diehard box­ing fans con­vinced of the pedi­gree of the bit­ter ri­vals.

Baby Face (24) beat Jasper Seroka on points at Ori­ent The­atre in June to win the crown, put­ting on a great dis­play of his re­mark­able punch­ing power on the night. In July, he out­lasted Filipino Jerry Cas­tro­verde to be crowned the IBF youth ti­tle­holder at the same venue.

Now he will get the chance to thrill his fans once more with a suc­cess­ful na­tional ti­tle de­fence against Mpontshane (23), who trains at the fa­mous Eyethu Box­ing Club, owned by ail­ing trainer Mz­i­masi Mn­guni.

“This fight means a lot to me be­cause I will be rep­re­sent­ing Dun­can Vil­lage against a man from Mdantsane with a huge fan base,” said Mboyiya.

He said he was look­ing for­ward to win­ning by knock­out.

But Mpontshane is also con­fi­dent of

PHOTO: MARK AN­DREWS / DIPATCH

STRIK­ING DIS­TANCE Aphiwe Mboyiya (right) against Abra­ham Osei Bonsu

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