mchunu a paper tiger

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Let's just say Soon "Bazooka" Botes misfires against Thabiso "The Rock" Mchunu tonight, and Mchunu retains his SA and WBA Pan African lightweight belts - then what?

Wait for another year while Stan Christodoulou, the representative of the WBA in Africa, is still searching for a corpse similar to Ghanaian Marciano Commey, who unfolded 32 seconds into the first round when Mchunu won that international belt last October?

Or idle while the top three contenders Sean Santana, Reuben Groenewald and Patrick Madzinga fight each other for the right to challenge?

By the time Mchunu gets back to work, fight fans would hardly remember him.

He last fought in October. Three months before that he fought Santana and seemed to be losing when Santana's challenge ended via a seventh-round stoppage. It was due to a bad cut above his eye.

Mchunu has fought only 22 rounds since he turned professional in 2007. He went the full distance once in a four-rounder. This sums up the crisis that exists in the junior heavyweight class locally.

Mchunu, 23, must thank his gods for the dearth of credible contenders in this weight class, which once boasted household names like Daniel Mapanya, Prince Tukane, Doug Lumley, including imports such as Dwight Braxton (Muhammad Qawi), Randy Stevens, Leon Spinks and Evander Holyfield.

No disrespect to Mchunu. This diminutive fighter from Pietermaritzburg, who is built like an ox, had to make do with what is available.

Mchunu, whose talent was nurtured and is still honed by his father Elias Mchunu, is a product of the Baby Champs.

Tonight he faces a stiff test, by local standards, in Botes, a former SA super middle and light heavyweight champion who has been around since 1992. Botes is on the comeback trail.

War is on the cards.

This clash will be broadcast live on Blow by Blow at 10pm from Boiketlong hall in Sasolburg.

But the fight could be upstaged by the clash between SA super middleweight champion Peter Mashamaite and Kgotso Motau.

These youngsters still want to prove a point. Fame and fortune is definitely their ultimate goal. They are both left-handers with similar punching power.

Mashamaite has 17 wins from 25 fights, while Motau boasts 14 wins from 16 fights.

There will be four more fights in this Robs Promotions bill.

Admission is free and action will begin at 6pm.