MORUTI Mthalane has promised to repay promoter Branco Milenkovic with the IBF belt for delivering on the promise he made after his first attempt at the IBF championship was stopped in November last year.
"I will win the title for him on Friday," said the Nick Durandt-mentored warrior, who will fight Mexican Julio Cesar Miranda for the vacant belt at Wembley Arena in Johannesburg.
The stoppage that Mthalane was referring to occurred in the sixth round against Nonito Donaire at Mandalay Bay Resort in Nevada.
Some 10 000 fans, including yours truly, were confused when referee Joe Cortez stopped the fight. A speck of blood was coming from what looked like a small cut above Mthalane's right eye and it did not warrant a stoppage.
It was in fact coming from the inside. The ringside doctor explained that such injuries warrant immediate stoppages because they might be detrimental to the eye if left for longer.
"Branco said I must not worry because he would get me a chance this year. He has done so," said the gleeful Mthalane, who was supposed to have challenged Donaire three months ago.
The IBF ordered Donaire to make a mandatory defence against Mthalane on August 1 but he moved up to the junior bantam- weight division, leaving the IBF without a champion.
The IBF appointed Miranda, who is raked No 2, and third-ranked Mthalane to fight for the vacant belt.
American Robert Byrd will be the referee for this contest. South Africa's internationally recognised Alfred Buqwana and Wally Snowball, as well as Mexican Alejandro Lopes will be the judges.
The fight will be beamed live on Blow by Blow at 10.30pm.
Two WBO B-grade belts and a national title will also be on the line on Friday.
Klaas Mboyane will defend the SA bantamweight belt against Cleutus Mbele.
Zolani Tete will fight Tanzanian Anthony Matthias for the WBO Africa flyweight title and Michael Schultz will fight Zimbabwean Tineyi Maridzo for the WBO Africa interim super middleweight belt.
Ringside tickets are on sale for R100 and unreserved seats for R50 at Computicket and Shoprite-Checkers stores.