Japhta nervous at home

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Marcel Japhta has concurred that fighting in front of his home crowd in Westbury for the first time since he turned professional in 2005 is putting him under enormous pressure.

But this rising star, a featherweight champion in last year's Baby Champs programme, says he will be equal to the task against Tony Mathe, come September 22.

"People are not aware that I am boxer because I keep a low profile. This puts me under pressure to prove myself. But I will go in there and do what I normally do," said Japhta.

The boxer has earned the nickname "Lights Out" because of his crippling power after flooring seven of his eight opponents.

Even Ludumo Galada, who spoiled his unblemished t record, had to get up from the canvass to win their four rounder on points.

This good looking fighter's skills are honed by trainers Benny Pailman, Peter Favor and Cliff Martins at Westside Boxing Academy.

Japhta will host Mathe at the Westbury Recreation Centre. A positive result is a must for Japhta because it could encourage other youngsters from this gang-infested area to take up boxing.

"I've trained very hard for this one and my stable-mates Koos Sibiya, Sipho Taliwe, Willie Mabasa and Tshepo Mofokeng gave me quality sparring. Defeat is not an option," he said.

His clash with Mathe (5-1) will be the main fight of Tsebo Boxing Promotions' seven-bout programme.

Female promoter Glory Khathi and Westside Boxing Academy will jointly promote the development tournament. Sibiya will fight Zephania Ntsokolo while Mbulelo Transvaal and Henry Makholoane will square up.

Mabasa was scheduled to fight Edward Mpofu but Mpofu signed to fight Innocent Mthalane. Mabasa will now fight Clement Sommers.

The bouts are scheduled for six rounds.