Sunday World (South Africa)

‘Special One’ backed to regain his title in Mexico

- By Sthembiso Nkabinde

Former IBF junior flyweight world champion Sivenathi “Special One” Nontshinga is receiving backing to regain his gold when he steps into the lion’s den early next month.

The 25-year-old pugilist from East London will stop at nothing in a bid to recapture the title he lost in an upset in Monte Carlo in November last year.

Nontshinga, who was the country’s lone mainstream world boxing champion, was knocked out cold in the second round by unheralded Mexican Adrian Curiel Dominguez to surrender his title.

And now, the previously unbeaten “Special One” will look to redeem himself when he heads to Mexico to run it back with Curiel in front of a hostile crowd.

Nontshinga, who was a big favourite to register a second successful defence in the last fight, received the shock of his life when he was dropped early.

Neverthele­ss, he would have picked up some crucial lessons and valuable informatio­n about his opponent in that bout, which he will look to put to good use in their rematch, even though it will be in enemy territory.

Nontshinga will also take confidence from his experience having won the same title in Mexico when he defeated Hector Flores in his backyard in September 2022.

It is because of that reason that Nontshinga’s compatriot, Sikho “Sequence” Nqothole, who is a highly rated junior bantamweig­ht, believes his countryman has what it takes to regain his title in Mexico.

“I think Sive (Nontshinga) is good enough to go there and regain his belt even though it won’t be easy,” Nqothole told

Sunday World.

“He has done it before, I don’t see why he can’t do it again. He’s a very good boxer; he was just unlucky to lose in that fashion last year.

“I think what happened to him [the loss] could have happened to anyone. That’s the risk that a brave boxer will always take, and sometimes you pay a big price.”

Nontshinga will be hoping to get his career back on track with a win having recently signed with British promoter Eddie Hearn as part of his Matchroom Boxing roster.

His first pro defeat was in Nontshinga’s debut fight under a new promoter and it spoiled some big plans for the Mzansi boxer who was eyeing a unificatio­n clash against Japanese Kenshiro Teraj.

Nontshinga has 13 fights with 12 wins, with nine stoppages.

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