magic has faded

TANZANIAN IS NO MATCH: Junior middleweight champion Tshepo Mashego will fight
Karama Nyilawila over 10 rounds at Nasrec Arena on August 10. Pic: Watson Mcoteli. 07.08.2004. © Sowetan



SW20040807WMC006:SPORT:BOXING:07AUG2004 - Tshepo Mashego fought with Farai Kachigwanda from Zimbwabwe at Witbank for WBA Pan African middleweight title, Anthony won on points. PHOTO:WATSON MCOTELI
TANZANIAN IS NO MATCH: Junior middleweight champion Tshepo Mashego will fight Karama Nyilawila over 10 rounds at Nasrec Arena on August 10. Pic: Watson Mcoteli. 07.08.2004. © Sowetan SW20040807WMC006:SPORT:BOXING:07AUG2004 - Tshepo Mashego fought with Farai Kachigwanda from Zimbwabwe at Witbank for WBA Pan African middleweight title, Anthony won on points. PHOTO:WATSON MCOTELI

IF THE junior middleweight division in the country were discarded tomorrow few would weep and even fewer notice.

IF THE junior middleweight division in the country were discarded tomorrow few would weep and even fewer notice.

The champion of this division, Tshepo Mashego, is clearly the best fighter. Many of his rivals are not only mediocre but also relatively unknown.

The only recognisable names are those of former champion Vincent Vuma, Bongani Mwelase (former SA and WBF welterweight holder) and Jan Bergman (former SA lightweight and junior welterweight, and WBU welterweight titlist).

What a wasteland.

In the 1970s this division represented some of the best, such as Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Thomas Hearns, Gregory Clark, David Khambule, Norman Sekgapane, Leo Simelane and Charles Ootshuizen, to mention just a few.

Everyone knew it. They all met one another.

"If only we knew, we would have appreciated it more. We might just get a second chance. Forget the rankings, look forward," says William Dettlof of Ring magazine.

On August 21 Mashego will entertain Karama Nyilawila over 10 rounds at Nasrec Arena.

Nyaliwa, 25, from Mbeya in Tanzania, is a mediocre middleweight contender with 10 wins (6 KOs), five defeats and a draw.

Sadly this main fight on Mpumalanga Promotions' card will be televised live on Blow by Blow at 10pm.

This fight means absolutely nothing to Mashego, who should be fighting hard to justify his champion status and make money.

Mbwana Matumla, who graced these shores, remains the only credible fighter from Tanzania.

Last week Ramadhan Mkudi went down in round three as if Muvhuso Nedzanani had just tossed a grenade at him. They fought for the WBO Africa bantamweight belt. Promoter Paul Tshehla should have looked for an opponent locally. Nkululeko Mhlongo, Alvin Mahonisi and Welcome Ntshingila will surely give Mashego a run for his money and the paying public - who will part with R50 each - would have been guaranteed value for their money. They will be short-changed by the current line-up.

Meanwhile, Mashego's stablemate, Page Tshesane, who is rated second in the junior middleweight class, will fight Malibongwe Ndzube over eight rounds.

There will be six more undercard fights. The action will begin at 8pm.

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