Sense of deja vu for boxing ex-con

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Mzukisi Roberts, who made headlines as a prisoner in 2003 by fighting in a professional tournament without a licence, will fight Sabelo Nokhele - the same fighter he fought then - at Orient Theatre on Sunday.

Roberts sneaked out of his jail cell to stop Nokhele in three rounds and rushed back to his cell at kwaNongqongqo in East London. Roberts was serving a 10-year prison term for murder but he was accompanied to the fight by a warder. That fight, promoted by Welcome Ncita in Mdantsane on March 28, was later nullified.

Boxing SA's service provider in Eastern Cape, Phakamile Jacobs, Ncita and Roberts' manager Mandlenkosi Jakavu were hauled in front of a Boxing SA disciplinary hearing.

Jakavu was fined R3000 for failing to inform Boxing SA that his fighter was a prisoner. Jacobs was fined R5000 for negligently allowing Roberts to box without proper authorisation while Ncita escaped with a warning.

Roberts was released in 2005 after serving seven years and he continued where he had left off as a fighter, losing in the finals of the Baby Champs later that year. He bounced back to win the Eastern Cape provincial bantamweight title against Mzimkhulu Funde last July. Roberts has chalked up nine wins (5 KO's), and one loss.

His rematch against Nokhele will be contested over six rounds in the junior featherweight division. Meanwhile, Ali Funeka will defend the WBC International lightweight belt against Junior Sollano from Philippines.