Rhodes dodges Rock slide in SA

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Vincent "The Rock" Vuma's second defence of the World Boxing Council (WBC) International junior middleweight belt against Ryan Rhodes has been called off.

Vuma's promoter Branco Milenkovic said yesterday that they had intended staging that fight here next week. But he said representatives of the English fighter stated clearly that they did not want their charge to come to South Africa.

"Their attitude shocked both the hierarchy of the WBC and me," said Milenkovic, the WBC's international promoter of 2007.

He then convinced the WBC to allow Vuma to engage in another fight. Milenkovic said Vuma will fight Tanzanian East and Central African Professional Boxing Federation welterweight champion, Mada Maugo in a non-title 10 rounder at the Carousel Casino in North West next Friday night.

Milenkovic, whose Branco Sports Productions will present that fight, announced that the SABC will broadcast that boxing match live at 9.30pm.

Vuma, 32, who also holds the national junior middleweight belt, should be too experienced for the 22-year-old rookie from Dar es Salaam.

Vuma, one of many champions in the productive stable of Nick Durandt, boasts 25 wins (14 kos) and two losses while Maugo, who turned professional in May last year, is undefeated after seven wins and a no contest.

Maugo won the East and Central African Professional Boxing Federation title in his first 12 rounder last September. It ended in the first round.

That was his fourth professional fight. His 10 rounder with Hussein Chiwa two months later ended in seven but it was declared a no contest.

Maugo's trainer Shamari Kimbau grabbed Chiwa's legs and pulled him out of the ring when there was a fierce exchange of punches between Maugo and Chiwa in Maugo's corner.

There was chaos. Chiwa was down and the referee thought he had been knocked unconscious. He was rushed to hospital, and Maugo was declared the winner by a knockout.

But that decision was amended to a no contest after a review of television footage.