Madiba ‘al­ways ready to fight’ in­side the hexagon

To pick up where he left off and fin­ish Kanyeba in Round One of EFC 54

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - LIAM MOSES

EFC feath­er­weight ti­tle con­tender Tu­misang “The Pres­i­dent” Madiba be­lieves the ul­tra- short no­tice for his bout against Anicet Kanyeba will make lit­tle dif­fer­ence tonight.

Kanyeba was set to face Pierre Botha at EFC 54 at Sun City, but the lat­ter with­drew on Mon­day af­ter suf­fer­ing a shoul­der in­jury.

Madiba an­swered the EFC’s call and was of­fi­cially an­nounced as the new op­po­nent on Tues­day – giv­ing him just three days to pre­pare and make the 66kg weigh- in.

“I stay ready. I’m al­ways ready to fight. I can al­ways take short- no­tice fights be­cause I’m fight­ing within my weight di­vi­sion,” he said.

“Other guys can’t take them be­cause they have to cut a lot of weight to get to their weight cat­e­gory. I fight very much within my weight di­vi­sion, so I make it eas­ily. I’m al­ways pre­pared, I’m al­ways train­ing and I’m al­ways fit.”

Madiba is on a win­ning streak, af­ter a sec­ond-round TKO vic­tory against Sindile Ma­nen­gela at EFC 52 in Au­gust and a sub­mis­sion win over Mamoudou Toure just 80 sec­onds in their bout at EFC 53 last month.

The 28- year- old, who moved to Cape Town ear­lier this year, says he has had the right bal­ance of rest and train­ing since he last stepped into the hexagon.

“I think one of the most of the im­por­tant parts of train­ing is rest­ing and now that I’m in Cape Town, it’s also won­der­ful for my mind. I’m do­ing other things that are healthy, like I’m play­ing beach soc­cer to stay fit,” he said.

“Af­ter the Mamoudou Toure fight I took a break, even though I didn’t take any dam­age. I took my foot off the pedal a lit­tle bit and two weeks af­ter that, I put it down again.”

Tonight’s bout will be the sec­ond time that Madiba and Kanyeba face off. The first en­counter, at EFC 51 in July, was brought to a close in the sec­ond round when Kanyeba could no longer con­tinue.

The Con­golese suf­fered what was ad­judged to be an ac­ci­den­tal eye poke and the bout was ruled a no-con­test. Madiba is grate­ful for the op­por­tu­nity to set the record straight, and he hopes to do so em­phat­i­cally.

“I was just get­ting into the swing of things when the eye poke hap­pened. I know he’s prob­a­bly wor­ried be­cause he knows what it’s like to be in there with me. I’m con­fi­dent be­cause I’ve felt what it’s like to be in there with him,” he said.

“Hon­estly, I feel like that wasn’t an eye poke. I won’t bad­mouth him be­cause I’m good sportsman, but I feel like that wasn’t an eye poke and he could have car­ried on.

“I’m just go­ing to pick up the pace right where I left it and fin­ish he fight in the first round,” he added.

Tonight’s fight card also fea­tures a fly­weight ti­tle bout be­tween Bald­win Md­lalose and JP Buys, a women’s fly­weight belt bat­tle be­tween Shana Power and Amanda Lino, along with a fight be­tween Elvis Moyo and An­drew van Zyl for the heavy­weight strap.

PRES­I­DEN­TIAL AD­DRESS: Tu­misang Madiba is on a two-fight win­ning streak in the feath­er­weight di­vi­sion.

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