calm before boxing storm
The silence from combatants Amon Baloyi and Patrick Malinga, who will clash tomorrow night for the South African lightweight belt at Park Station, Johannesburg, has been deafening.
Baloyi from Limpopo, who trains in Gauteng under Colin Nathan, is the champion while the Katlehong-based Malinga, whose skills are honed by his father Jabulani Malinga, is the challenger.
Nathan's explanation for the silence is that he is upset that Malinga and his father had a lot to say.
"I am not a loudmouth. Baloyi is also not a speaker but a doer.
"I am prepared to say that Baloyi is in better shape than he was when he took the title from Irvin Buhlalu in May, and he will have all the answers to questions that Patrick will ask.
"I am expecting an explosive fight, but I believe Amon is a smarter fighter than Malinga.
"I am confident Baloyi will win, noma kanjani."
Jabulani seems to be in the dark about Nathan's claim that they were talking too much and instead preferred to say that silence is golden.
"We will do our talking in the ring. Baloyi's two months of fame will come to an end," he said. "Defeat is not an option. He [Baloyi] said he studied the taped fight of Patrick against Isaac Hlatswayo and I wonder if he asked Hlatswayo how tough Patrick is.
"Hlatswayo was always a very big lightweight in physique and we lost that fight but we deformed his face, and that is what we will do to Baloyi."
Baloyi and Malinga are recognised punchers who can end their fights in any second or minute of any round.
But Malinga has more power, judging by his knockout ratio of 18 from 21 wins, while Baloyi has flattened only seven of his 11 victims.
Malinga was stopped five times in his six defeats while Baloyi failed to see the last round out in two of his three defeats.
Sowetan tips the better thinker to win this fight, which will top the seven-bout programme of Rainbow Boxing Promotions.
Action kicks off at 7pm and all bouts will be televised live by SuperSport.