bold or the beautiful?

CONTENDERS: Willie Mabasa and Marcel Japhta, inset, will clash for the Gauteng provincial featherweight title tomorrow. 28/05/04. Pic. Lee Warren. © Gallo Images.
CONTENDERS: Willie Mabasa and Marcel Japhta, inset, will clash for the Gauteng provincial featherweight title tomorrow. 28/05/04. Pic. Lee Warren. © Gallo Images.

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Will the mean and brooding demeanour of Willie Mabasa scare off the good-looking Marcel Japhta tomorrow night, and subsequently help him to salvage a victory that will revive his flagging career?

This question will be answered after their 10-rounder, a Gauteng featherweight title fight that will take place at Westbury Recreation Centre.

This clash, which pits the Sonny Liston-look alike Mabasa from Limpopo against Japhta, who looks just like Sugar Ray Leonard, will top the seven-bout programme of People Promotion.

Promoters Obed Molekwa and Korda Manqina will jointly present this bill with Westside Boxing Academy of trainers Benny Pailman, Peter Favor and Cliff Martins.

Neither fighter can afford to lose, especially Mabasa because such a result will confirm him as the stepping stone for aspiring fighters, while victory will earn him a rating.

A win for Japhta will confirm him as the mandatory challenger for the winner of the national featherweight belt between Manelisi Mbilase and Thando Vukuza on June 12. Defeat will see Japhta forfeit his top spot in the rankings.

Mabasa and Japhta are former stable mates at Westside Boxing Academy in Westbury, but Mabasa left to join Michele Castellan, who hones the skills of Philip Ndou.

Mabasa still has to make an impression since he turned professional in 2002.

His unimpressive fight record reads 12 wins and seven losses while Japhta, who turned professional in 2005, holds the 2006 Baby Champs and the Gauteng provincial belts.

He has nine wins against one defeat and one draw.

Meanwhile Japhta's stable mate, Nkululeko Mhlongo, another champion in 2007 Baby Champs, should be too smart for Johannes Petersen in their catchweight fight over six rounds. Mhlongo is ranked seven in the junior middleweight class nationally.

Action kicks off at 7pm.

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