Nongqayi sets up date with Darchinyan

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Simphiwe Nongqayi upset Mexico's local favourite Fransisco Arce by a unanimous points decision to earn the right to challenge IBF junior bantamweight champion Vic Darchinyan.

Nongqayi, who holds the lowly regarded WBF belt, achieved the feat in front of Arce's fans at the Gimnasio Polideportivo Centenario in Los Mochis, Mexico, on Saturday night.

Nongqayi, 35, solidified his dominance with a knockdown in the 11th round before sweeping all three judges' cards 116-111.

His promoter Branco Milenkovic was over the moon.

Milenkovic and yours truly predicted victory for this Nick Durandt-trained warrior against Arce. Nongqayi's win is history in the making because he and stable mate Evans Mbamba are mandatory challengers for Darchinyan.

The Australian, who ended the career of Mzukisi Sikali with an eighth-round stoppage for the IBF and IBO flyweight belts in 2005, is the IBF, WBC and WBA undisputed champion.

Mbamba earned his rights for the WBC mandatory eliminator last December with a stunning seventh-round knockout of highly-regarded Thai fighter Devid Lookmahanak.

"I don't think it will be possible for Darchinyan to honour both IBF and WBC obligations. This is because of the time frame given by both organisations," said Milenkovic before adding that the WBC has already set March 13 as the date for purse bids.

"I expect the IBF to send the same letter today."

Mostly likely either Nongqayi or Mbamba will end up fighting for the respective titles.