Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Local judges could spoil the high- profile IBF junior lightweight world title fight between champion Cassius Baloyi and Malcolm Klassen tomorrow night.

The judges are Deon Dwarte and Isaac Tshabalala, both of Cape Town, and Wally Snowball from Johannesburg.

While Dwarte has done well in many IBF title fights worldwide, Tshabalala and Snowball were in the spotlight for the wrong reasons two weeks ago.

Tshabalala docked a point from Charrit Mukondeleli for an accidental clash of heads in the IBO All Africa junior flyweight title fight.

But he did nothing to Hekkie Budler for constantly holding Mukondeleli when in trouble.

Earlier on, Thamsanqa Dube from Zimbabwe dropped Jake Els early in the eighth round.

Snowball counted but stopped when he was supposed to signal that the fight was over.

Snowball literally picked Els up but Els was pounded foolishly until trainer Harold Volbrecht threw in the towel.

A deserved win, on points to be precise, for either Baloyi, 33, or Klassen 27, could be met by protests because of the involvement of local judges.

But it must be said that these appointments were made by the hierarchy of the New York-based IBF.

Daryl Peoples from New Jersey, US, will be the fight supervisor while his countryman Samuel Williams from Detroit, Michigan, will be the referee.

To illustrate the high degree of incompetence that has bedevilled local boxing, two local judges declared a visibly vanquished Manelisi Mbilase a winner over Thando Vukuza last October.

That decision was diabolic.

Boxing SA appointed neutral judges to review the taped fight and score it. They all declared Vukuza the winner.

Boxing SA ordered a rematch, and that fight could take place in a gym.

Tomorrow night, at the University of North West in Mafikeng, Durandt, who has mastered the art of frightening officials, will be in Baloyi's corner.

The unfashionable Gert Strydom will usher Klassen in to battle.

Strydom is a former deputy to Manny Fernandez, who guided Klassen to victory for the same IBF belt against then holder Gary St Clair in 2007.

Klassen's idol, Lehlohonolo "Hands of Stone" Ledwaba, will not be at ringside.

His mother Margaret Ledwaba died last Friday night after a short illness.

She will be buried tomorrow at Avalon Cemetery. The cortege will leave from Moletsane to the cemetery at 11.30am.

Meanwhile Moruti Mthalane will defend the SA flyweight belt against Lehlohonolo Ramagole in the main supporting fight.

Lesley Sekotswe will put his ABU super flyweight strap on the line against Nkosana Sobethu.

Female fighters Sandra Almeida and Essiance Clotide will show what comes naturally in the junior middleweight division over four rounds.

Milenkovic's bill, dubbed "Pride of South Africa", comprises nine bouts.

But only the Baloyi-Klassen shootout will be televised live on Blow by Blow at 9.30pm.

Boxing SA's director of operations Loyiso Mtya described the Baloyi-Klassen fight as the catalyst for more local shootouts.