Champions face top-rated challengers

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Some dreams will be fulfilled while others will be shattered this weekend, which is full of boxing action.

South African champion Jonas Kgasago and two WBC International titleholders, Zukisani Kwayiba and Ali Funeka, will all defend against top-rated challengers.

Kgasago and Kwayiba's strawweight straps will be at stake against Mzukisi Myeki and Alex Aroy at the Carousel gambling resort in Hammanskraal.

Their fights will be staged by promoter Branco Milenkovic's Sports Productions tonight.

Then on Sunday Funeka will put his International lightweight title on the line against Junior Sollano. Their fight will be promoted by Mzimase Mnguni under the Eyethu Promotions banner at the Orient Theatre in East London.

Funeka cannot afford to trip up. He is rated in the top five by the WBC, IBF and WBA and this means that a world title fight is imminent.

Tonight Kgasago will bid for the first defence of the title he won in May after stopping Elliot Tokona in seven rounds. Kgasago should walk past a ring-rusty Myeki, who will be in his first fight of the year.

Kgasago's mentor Nick Durandt did not hesitate when pressed for comment.

"The job should be done within six rounds," he said.

Durandt's opposite number, Zola Koti, who hones the skills of IBF junior lightweight champion Mzonke Fana, warned that Kgasago's bubble will burst.

Meanwhile, Mzamo Mapetla is confident that Kwayiba will retain his title. But Mapetla concurred that the Filipino cannot be underestimated.

"But we will be on song. What he does, we will do it twice as well, and he is not going to last the full distance."

Tomorrow, Westbury's rising star Marcel Japhta will host Tony Mathe at the Westbury Recreation Centre. Their scrap will be promoted jointly by female promoter Glory Khathi's Tsebo Promotions and Westside Boxing Academy.

Officials for the Kwayiba-Aroy clash are referee Daniel van der Diele (Belgium), judges Silvia Mokaila (North West), Joseph Chaane and Tony Nyangiwe (both from Gauteng).

Van der Diele returns for the Funeka-Sollano scrap on Sunday while Siya Vabaza (Eastern Cape), Andrew Smale (Gauteng) and Silvia Maphangule (Limpopo) will be the judges.