Mabuza gets crack at title
International Boxing Organisation (IBO) bantamweight champion Silence "Real Deal" Mabuza will fight Gerry "Fearless" Penalosa for the WBO title early next year.
Mabuza's promoter Rodney Berman confirmed yesterday that they had met Penalosa's demands, and revealed that he would pay the Filipino more than R1 million.
"Its a done deal," said the accomplished promoter who brought undisputed heavyweight world champion Lennox Lewis here to defend against Hasim Rahman on April 22 2001.
"I owe it to Silence. He is like Cassius Baloyi, who is one of Golden Gloves' stalwarts."
Berman, who staged the ground-breaking female professional bout between Laila "She Bee Stingin" Ali and Gwendolyn "Stealth Bomber" O'Neill on February 3, said the Mabuza-Penalosa fight will take place on February 2 at Emperors Palace.
Mabuza, the charismatic, dexterous fighter from Ekurhuleni, was supposed to defend against Damian David Marchian, of Argenitina, on November 12.
His manager Nick Durandt said Mabuza, who stopped Tanzanian Mbwana Matumla with a body blow in the fifth round in June to win the then vacant IBO belt, was removed from the "Lords of the Ring" boxing extravaganza in order to give him time to pursue the unification bout with Penalosa.
The Filipino caused an upset in August when he knocked out Johnny Gonzalez with a body punch in the eighth round to win the WBO crown.
Penalosa, 35, is a former WBC junior bantamweight champion. He boasts 52 wins (35 KOs) from 60 fights.