Musketeers promise to rock boxing world

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Underrated boxing mentors Peter Favor, Benny Pailman and Cliff Martins, will produce two champions this weekend and earn the recognition they deserve, Favor promised yesterday.

The three musketeers have their first assignment tomorrow night, when their fighter Marcel Japhta takes on Edward Mpofu for the vacant Gauteng featherweight belt at the Finetown multipurpose centre in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg.

This fight pits Japhta, an inexperienced but determined youngster, against a veteran who is a former SA junior featherweight champion.

It will be the main supporting bout to the South African cruiserweight championship match between Thabiso Mchunu and Patrick Madzinga.

These fights and four others will be presented by Future Boxing Promotions of Reggie Hilmer and Gavin Hope in conjunction with the City of Johannesburg in Region G.

Japhta, from Westbury, a champion in the 2006 Baby Champs, has improved a lot since that victory.

He is steadily developing into one of the few big punchers in the featherweight division.

Favor, Pailman and Martins will be in Eastern Cape on Sunday to watch another of their fighters, Tshepo Mofokeng, take on Xolisile Sinyabi for the vacant South African junior featherweight title.

Mofokeng, a stylish fighter from Ekurhuleni, earned his title shot when he stopped then number one contender Takalani Kwinda in nine rounds. Mofokeng was taken as cannon fodder for Nick Durandt's boxer.

Mofokeng and Sinyabi both have nine wins, with six knockouts. But Mofokeng has lost two fights and drawn once, while Sinyabi has only lost one fight - a first-round knockout against Bongani Mahlangu in the final of the 2006 Baby Champs.

Sinyabi has promised to win the belt as his 24th birthday present.

Their battle will top the Eyethu Boxing Promotions card of promoter Mzimase Mnguni at the Orient Theatre.

"Doubting Thomases who refuse to give us recognition despite our successes will eat humble pie," said Favor.

The trio produced their first champion when Baldwin Tshiakale brutally ended Earl Morais' reign as the SA cruiserweight champion in 2004.

Morais was bidding for a record fifth title defence but had to be rescued by his trainer, Reggie Healey, who threw in the towel in round nine. Healey has since died.