jubatha ordered to take on japhta

NEWLY crowned SA featherweight king Sabelo Jubatha will defend against Marcel Japhta.

Jubatha dethroned Thando Vukuza via a 10th round stoppage on Friday night at the Orient Theatre.

He has now been ordered by Boxing SA (BSA) to defend against Japhta, who is the number one contender.

BSA acting CEO Loyiso Mtya announced yesterday that he had explained to Jubatha's camp why they are denying him the right to a voluntary defence. Japhta has been waiting for more than a year because Vukuza had to do a voluntary defence," Mtya explained.

"Japhta did not make any noise. He kept himself busy and the beauty is that he won all the fights he had.

"Imagine Jubatha losing the belt against a challenger of his choice, and that new champion will also want to make a voluntary defence, what happens to Japhta? We, as Boxing SA, had to take a stance."

Jubatha's promoter S'Phatho Handi shared Mtya's sentiments yesterday.

"There is no two-ways about it, Jubatha will defend against Marcel on March 19," he said.

Japhta, from Westbury, commended the governing body for its stance.

"I will come with my guns blazing. I will take the title away from Jubatha," said the current two-times Gauteng champion, who watched Jubatha's 10th-round stoppage of Vukuza on TV.

His skills are honed by trainers Benny Pailman, Cliff Martins and Peter Faver.

Pailman described Jubatha as a straight forward fighter. "I don't see him giving Marcel any problems," said Pailman, who has guided Japhta to 11 wins, a loss and a draw since he turned professional in 2006.

The Jubatha-Vukuza fight topped Handi's bill, which he jointly promoted with Koko Godlo.

They also produced SA's first female world champion, Noni Tenge, who pulverised Ghananian Gifty Ankra in nine rounds for the WBF welterweight title.

Other results: Matima Molefi beat Simphiwe Foba, TKO round 1; Mncedi Yokose beat Lindile Petse, TKO round 4.