Tshehla floored by bout of flu

BLOW: Anthony Tshehla. Pic. Tsheko Kabasia. 12/02/2005. © Sunday World.
BLOW: Anthony Tshehla. Pic. Tsheko Kabasia. 12/02/2005. © Sunday World.

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

A bout of flu has knocked Anthony Tshehla out of the WBF international junior lightweight title fight with Zolani Marali tonight.

It would have been the main supporting bout to the WBF junior bantamweight championship clash between Marali's stablemate Simphiwe Nongqayi and Dario Azuaga in Carletonville.

Promoter Thinus Strydom, whose World Sport Promotion will stage the six-bout tournament bankrolled by King Korn, said Tshehla pulled out on Monday before the pre-fight medical.

Fight publicist Leonard Neil said Strydom then got hold of Zimbabwe champion Meshack Kondwani, who suffered a close points loss to Mlungisi Dlamini last year, and the fight was sealed.

But with Zimbabwe enjoying a two-day holiday at the start of this week, all government offices were closed on Tuesday and this meant Kondwani could not get a visa in time.

Marali was devastated, saying: "I banked on this fight to earn a living."

Meanwhile, trainer Nick Durandt admitted his charge faces the toughest opponent ever in his career but he promised to guide Nongqayi to victory over Azuaga.

It will be the challenger from Uruguay's 82nd fight. He boasts 58 knockouts from 69 wins, 10 losses and two draws.

Nongqayi, recognisable for his goatee and a checker-board hairstyle, has only five knockouts from 12 wins in as many fights. In his first title defence Nongqayi stopped Rafael Tirado in seven rounds in May.

Durandt described Azuaga as a closed book but said they would study him in the opening rounds.

Bongani Mwelase, the top prospect of 2006, and Sello Letsoalo will meet in one of the undercards.