Champ Mashaba not in a merciful mood

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Former two-time world champion Eric Aiken will get no mercy from Thomas "Merciless" Mashaba when they fight for the IBO featherweight belt at Emperors Palace on Monday night.

The "Mighty Mouse", a former North American Boxing Association (Naba) and IBF champion intends to redeem himself and get back to big-time boxing.

"I don't care who he is," said Mashaba, the reigning IBO featherweight king who ended the illustrious career of legendary Vuyani Bungu in 2005. "I will show him who Thomas Mashaba is."

Experts feel that Aiken will end Mashaba's two-year reign but the rock solid Mashaba, a former SA and IBO undefeated junior featherweight champion, does not fear pressure.

This locomotive train driver at Gold Fields mine, who has been moulded into an esteemed fighter by top trainer Eugene Khanyile, knows that pressure has turned him into a diamond.

Mashaba, 27, who is still undefeated in a local ring, has chalked up 18 wins and a draw. His only defeat since he turned professional in 1999 was in Thailand in 2003 against Sod Looknongyangtoy for the WBO Asia Pacific junior featherweight title. Mashaba will bid for a fourth title defence. His previous defence was his last appearance in the ring, in December last year against Oscar Leon. It lasted three rounds.

Aiken promised fight fans a great fight. Their bout will form part of Golden Gloves' "Lords of the Ring" six-bout programme.

Cassius Baloyi and Gary St Clair will collide for the IBF junior lightweight number one spot in the main fight.

Osborne Machimana will defend the SA heavyweight belt against Peter Cronje. Soon Botes defends the SA light heavyweight belt against Daniel Bruwer.