Ndlovu is in mean mood to reclaim his world status
Good luck wishes for Takalani "The Panther" Ndlovu
SOUTH Africans, particularly revered trainer Nick "Mthakathi" Durandt, have wished countryman Takalani "The Panther" Ndlovu the best of luck in his pursuit to regain his status as a world champion.
Ndlovu - the former IBO and WBF feather, and IBO and IBF junior featherweight champion - will take on Alejandro Lopez in the IBF junior featherweight title eliminator tomorrow in a 12-rounder presented by Top Rank at El Paso County Coliseum in Texas, US.
Ndlovu is rated No 3, a spot above his Mexican rival. The winner will face Colombian Jhonathan Romero, rated No2, for the vacant title.
Durandt is hopeful that Ndlovu will produce the same gallant performance he displayed when he won the IBF belt from Steve Molitor at Nasrec Arena on March 26 last year. Ndlovu outclassed the cocky Canadian over 12 rounds to earn a lopsided points victory.
Ndlovu defended successfully against Giovanni Caro in Mexico on October 29 last year, before being dethroned by Durandt's boxer Jeffrey Mathebula in Brakpan on March 24. Mathebula lost the belt to WBO holder Nonito Donaire, who vacated it a couple of weeks ago.
"It is not going to be easy fighting a young and probably hungrier Lopez in America," said Durandt. "I can only hope for a similar performance to that Takie showed against Molitor. Then he will be home and dry. Takie always goes into a fight fully prepared and I am sure that Gert Strydom prepared him well for this one. I wish them the best of luck."
Ndlovu, the right-hander from Kibler Park in Johannesburg, is a renowned body puncher with 18 stoppages from 33 wins in 40 fights.
Not much is known about Lopez, who has 23 wins and two losses.