Local boxing legends grab lifeline

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Three musketeers from Golden Gloves stable, Corrie Sanders, Isaac Hlatswayo and Silence Mabuza, should come out all guns blazing in their comeback fights.

Promoter Rodney Berman has given them a second lifeline.

These fighters, who were demigods of the local ring, must win to be in the mix for world championship fights.

Berman said he had been given assurance by the top guns from the three world-respected sanctioning bodies that Sanders' name will be included in the top five bracket.

Hlatswayo needs a win to improve his number 13 spot in the IBF while Mabuza just cannot afford a defeat against Mbwana Matumla for the vacant IBO bantamweight belt.

He is ranked third by the IBF despite his defeat by champion Rafael Marquez in June last year.

Victory will speed up Mabuza's chances of being matched for a mandatory challenge by the IBF .

Sanders forfeited his WBO belt after being defeated by Vitali Klitschko for the WBC title in April 2004. He stopped Colin Wilson in November last year.

Sanders and Hlatswayo's foes will be announced on Friday but their fights will take place at Emperors Palace on May 5.

Fireworks are expected between Mabuza and Tanzanian Matumla, who holds the IBO junior bantamweight belt.

It should be reminiscent of the "Fire and Ice" slug fest between Philip Ndou and Cassius Baloyi in 2001.

Ndou, who emerged victorious, said the Mabuza-Matumla clash will bring back the lost fight fans.

"I expect a fierce but closely contested war, and a boxer who needs it most, will win," he said.

Berman added that it was his tradition to promote great local fights.