Sat Oct 22 11:09:18 SAST 2016

Smart money is on the long shots tonight

By unknown | Dec 15, 2006 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Thomas Mashaba and S'Phiwe Nongqayi should whip Oscar Leon and Khulile Makeba in Kimberley tonight, though they are not given the slightest chance against their challengers, who have crippling power and vast experience.

Mashaba will be bidding for the third defence of his IBO featherweight belt.

The undefeated Nongqayi, whose exploits have earned him the number one rating in the national junior bantamweight ranks, takes on Makeba for the vacant WBF title.

Leon is the favourite tonight because of his punching power. Eighteen of his 27 wins have come by knockout, with only five losses. The challenger from Colombia, who holds the WBO Latin American title, hits very hard.

But Mashaba is undeterred by the underdog tag.

"I have already been tested. If people want me to prove a point, I will duly do so," he said.

Mashaba, who has had to work hard for his wins, has 10 knockouts from 18 wins, a loss and four draws. He is the former SA and IBO undefeated junior featherweight champion.

His mentor, Eugene Khanyile, said tough fights bring out the best in him.

"Nobody gave him a chance against Yorber Ortega and Juan Cabrerra,"he said.

Makeba is tipped to win because he has far more experience than Nongqayi, who only has 11 fights under his belt.

Makeba, the former SA mini flyweight and bantamweight champion, has registered 18 wins (10 KOs), five defeats and a draw.

Nongqayi's trainer, Nick Durandt, warned that his charge should not be underestimated.

"Do not forget what Evans Mbamba did to seasoned campaigner Zolile Mbityi a few weeks ago," he said.

SABC 2 will broadcast Mashaba's fight live on Blow by Blow at 10pm.


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