Branco gets IBF shots for Ndlovu, Tete
BOXING promoter Branco Milenkovic backs his big mouth with action.
The towering Serb took the boxing fraternity and the media alike by surprise yesterday when he announced that he had convinced the hierarchy of the New York-based IBF sanctioning boxing body that his charges Takalani "The Panther" Ndlovu and Zolani "Last Born" Tete deserved chances to fight for IBF title eliminators.
He said that was based on the fact that both Ndlovu and Tete lost their big fights recently via close split points decisions. Ndlovu lost the IBF junior featherweight belt to Jeffrey "The Mongoose" Mathebula in Brakpan on March 24, while Tete was defeated by Alberto Rosas for the IBF junior bantamweight title eliminator in Mexico in November.
Milenkovic said he convinced the IBF during his visit to Los Angeles 10 days ago. He was there with his other charge Vus'Umuzi "Marvelous" Malinga, who failed to win the IBF bantamweight belt. Ndlovu, who is a former SA and WBF featherweight, IBO and IBF junior featherweight holder, will fight Mexican Alejandro Lopez. The winner will be the mandatory challenger for the victor between Mathebula and WBO champion Nonito Donaire. The unification bout between them will take place in the US on July 7.
Ndlovu is rated No5, a spot below Lopez, and victory will make him the only South African fighter to fight three times for the IBF junior featherweight title, which was first held by Welcome Ncita before his stablemate Vuyani "The Beast" Bungu won it. Tete, on the other hand, will do battle with Roberto Sosa from Argentina in the IBF junior bantamweight title eliminator. Tete is rated No 5, while Sosa is two spots above. The title is currently held by another Mexican Juan Sanchez.
Milenkovic added that reigning IBF flyweight holder Moruti "Baby Face" Mthalane will defend against mandatory challenger Ricardo Nunez from Panama.