Hour of truth arrives for Nongqayi

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

The hour of truth will arrive on Friday night for WBF junior bantamweight titleholder Simphiwe Nongqayi when he defends against Dario Azuaga in Carletonville.

The champion's unbeaten record of 12 professional fights pales against that of Azuaga who will be engaging in his 82nd bout.

The tournament will be promoted jointly by Thinus Strydom of World Sport Promotions and SABC. It will be televised live on Blow by Blow at 10pm.

Nongqayi, who is nicknamed "Golden Master", with his recognisable goatee and a checker-board hairstyle, will need every grain of experience he has earned from his short paid career and his lengthy 300-plus amateur bouts to keep his title.

The Nick Durandt-trained fighter from the Border demolished Khulile Makeba in eight rounds to win the title last December.

Nongqayi stopped Rafael Tirado of Ecuador in seven rounds in May. Now Nongqayi faces a tougher, far more experienced opponent ready to relieve him of the title.

Azuaga from Uruguay has 69 wins, 58 coming inside the distance, two draws and 10 losses.

The undercard of this King Korn-bankrolled tournament is full of talented fighters in Zolani Marali, Bongani Mwelase and Xolani Ntese.

Marali will fight Anthony Tshehla for the vacant WBF international junior lightweight title while Mwelase will fight Sello Letsoane.

Flyweight top contender Xolani Ntese comes up against Joel Kunene while an established wor-horse Koos Mathiya from Witbank will take on Capetonian Desmond Samuels.