Carries hopes of Aliwal North boxing fanatics

BOXER Sipho Taliwe is promising to make tonight a great one for residents of his home town of Aliwal North by becoming the "first national champion" from the Eastern Cape town.

BOXER Sipho Taliwe is promising to make tonight a great one for residents of his home town of Aliwal North by becoming the "first national champion" from the Eastern Cape town.

"Tsunami", whose skills are honed in Gauteng by Benny Pailman, Cliff Martins and Peter Faver, challenges titleholder Jasper "Jazzman" Seroka, from Namakgale in Limpopo for the national junior lightweight title at the Multipurpose Centre in Finetown, Lenasia.

"This is not about me only but about people of Aliwal North. They cannot wait to have a South African champion from this area.

So you understand what goes on in my mind, body and soul right now - excitement," said the No 1 mandatory challenger.

"I am the first professional fighter from Aliwal North. My victory tonight will make me the first South African champion ever to come from Aliwal North."

Taliwe has made great strides in Gauteng, blowing away nine of his victims in the scheduled distances. The challenger, who is always in good physical and mental condition, has only two defeats, one of which was against Seroka in 2006.

But he almost blew this chance last month when he went down twice in round two of a warm-up fight against Nicholas Modibeng. But realising the consequences of a defeat, Taliwe approached the third round like a man possessed and put Modibeng's lights out. That was Taliwe's ninth stoppage in his ninth win.

Taliwe acknowledges Seroka's prowess. "Jasper is an awkward boxer, a mover with quick hands, but I will have a plan for him," he warned.

Attempts to get a comment from Seroka drew a blank yesterday. The champion will be bidding for a second defence.

Their fight will top the six-bout Future Promotions bill. It will be televised live at 10pm on SABC's Blow by Blow programme.

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