Fri Oct 21 16:54:46 SAST 2016

'Hitman' has to beat Medina and wait for shot at IBF title

By unknown | Jun 11, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Cassius "Hitman" Baloyi's fight against Manuel Medina on July 5 will define his legacy among the pantheon of great South African fighters.

These words come from promoter Rodney Berman who is staging the bout at Emperors Palace, Kempton Park. He has promoted Baloyi for 14 years.

Baloyi will be defending his IBO title. The winner will also earn the vacant number one spot in the IBF world rankings.

"Cassius has proved himself time and again against the finest boxers on the planet. In fact, the further he goes, the better his chances of a permanent place among boxers of the past," said Berman.

Baloyi, the only South African boxer ever to have won five world championships in three weight divisions, has had 21 world championship fights with 19 wins and two defeats.

His collective number of 14 world title defences also places him among Brian Mitchell (12 wins and two draws), Vuyani Bungu (15-3) and Jacob "Baby Jake" Matlala (14-4), who are the three most successful local boxers.

Baloyi stopped Medina in 11 rounds for the IBF junior lightweight title in May last year but lost the title two months later to Gairy St Clair of Australia.

Baloyi reinvented his future in February this year with a third round knockout over Nazareno Ruiz for the IBO belt.

"It's up to him to beat Medina (ranked second) and wait for his shot at the IBF title," added the boss of Golden Gloves in his parting shot.

Medina is a former five times champion. He boasts 67 wins (31 KOs) from 80 fights.

The indefatigable 36-year-old Mexican outpointed Kevin Kelly (former Naba belt holder) in November last year to earn the right for the IBF's world title elimination.


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