Malinga will take on Mkhwanazi

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Fight-starved South African junior welterweight champion, Sam Malinga, will dust off the cobwebs against Thulani Mkhwanazi at Nasrec Arena on February 23.

Malinga last saw action six months ago when he stopped Lawrence Ngobeni in 19 seconds of the 12th round in Secunda.

That was his third defence.

The underrated title holder from Newcastle in KwaZulu-Natal, whose skills are honed in Gauteng by Nick Durandt, pictured, will make a voluntary defence against the fourth- ranked Mkhwanazi.

Promoter Branco Milenkovic is excited by the undercard.

"In the past we have seen the undercards outshine the main events. I expect the same," he said.

Bones could crack in two fights - between Patrick Malinga and Zamani Hate, and between Jake Els and Wiseman Dlomo - because those two bouts will be contested over six rounds and victories carry with them tickets to championship fights.

Malinga is ranked fourth and Hate occupies the number eight spot in the lightweight division, which is ruled by Irvin Buhlalu.

The same applies to Els, who is rated second, and the fifth-rated Dlomo. The winner will challenge national champion Osborne Machimane.

Lehlohonolo Ramagole should continue making a statement against Joel Kunene. Chris van Heerden, who has been a revelation in most of Milenkovic's tournaments, will feature against an opponent yet to be named.