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Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Thomas Mashaba and Cristobal Cruz will meet in a rematch at Emperors Palace.

Golden Gloves boss Rodney Berman, who with American Associate Art Pelullo gave Mashaba the golden opportunity to head a tournament on ESPN, says "Judgement Day", as the bout is called, will take place in September.

"The beauty is that Cruz has agreed to come here," he said.

These two gladiators thrilled fight fans with their closely contested fight inside the 4000 seater Fox Theatre in Foxwoods, Connecticut, last weekend.

Mashaba lost the IBO featherweight belt via a majority decision. Two judges scored it 115-113 in favour of Cruz while the third scored it a draw at 114.

Losing a fight on foreign soil with such a decision tells the story.

It happened to Mashaba's hero Dingaan Thobela in Sacramento on February 12 1993 when the "Rose of Soweto" lost a fight many people believe he had won against Tony Lopez.

But the Mexican was tamed four months later at Sun City and Thobela won the WBA lightweight title.

Mashaba's trainer Eugene Khanyile was in tears.

"I am saddened by the fact that I could not prepare Mashaba the way I wanted to, especially towards our final preparations," he said.

"I broke two fingers on my right hand when we were doing pads and I had to rely on one of the three Rivera brothers who helped us with their gym in Lynn.

"I had to shout instructions to both Mashaba and that guy from the side.

" I am not being a cry baby, but this is a fact. You saw it yourself. I am glad that Rodney has promised to give us a rematch," he said.

Mashaba suffered only his second loss against 20 wins and four draws, while Cruz improved to 36 wins, 11 losses and a draw.