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Political unrest in Thailand almost caused the cancellation of the WBC junior bantamweight eliminator between that country's Devid Lookmahana and Evans Mbamba.
This clash will be presented by Branco Sports Production at the Carousel Casino and Resort in Hammanskraal, North West, on Friday night.
Promoter Branco Milenkovic yesterday said he had spent sleepless nights pondering how to bring Lookmahana here.
Thailand's boxing correspondent Joe Kozumi said thousands of anti-government protesters had besieged Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport on November 25, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat. (Reuters reported that protesters allowed incoming flights yesterday).
Milenkovic made "unusual" arrangements to get Lookmahana - the WBC Asian Boxing Council champion - out of Thailand.
"We secured a special army plane which took him to Singapore. There he got onto a commercial flight. He will arrive in Johannesburg this morning.
"His late arrival will not jeopardise the rules and regulations of the WBC which stipulate two pre-fight medicals within 30 and seven days prior the fight. Devid complied with both," Milenkovic said.
Lookmahana is rated sixth while Mbamba, the left-handed WBC International champion from Duduza in Ekurhuleni, whose skills are honed by Nick Durandt, is rated a lowly 15th.
The winner will challenge WBC, IBF and WBA undisputed champion, Australian Vic Darchinyan, who ended the illustrious career of Mzukisi "Laciar" Sikali with an eighth round stoppage for the IBF and IBO belts on March 27 2005.
Milenkovic confirmed that Ranee Ganoy from the Philippines arrived yesterday while his opponent, Fernando Angulo from Venezuela arrives today.
The Mbamba-Lookmahana clash will be televised live on SABC 2's Blow by Blow on Friday at 9.30pm.