IBF BELTS ON WAY TO SA

ONLY a curse can prevent South Africa from producing two more International Boxing Federation champions this weekend.

ONLY a curse can prevent South Africa from producing two more International Boxing Federation champions this weekend.

The country currently has two IBF champions - super flyweight Simphiwe Nongqayi and flyweight Moruti Mthalane.

Now Takalani "The Panther" Ndlovu and Ali "Rush Hour" Funeka will attempt to win the vacant junior featherweight and lightweight belts that eluded them in previous attempts.

Ndlovu will oppose Steve Molitor in Canada, while Funeka will clash with Joan Guzman in the US. Both fights will take place on Saturday.

Their previous title fights were also on foreign soil. Ndlovu suffered a ninth-round stoppage by Molitor in Canada in July 2007 while Funeka lost on points to Nate Campbell in February last year in the US and drew with Guzman in November last year in Canada.

Ndlovu lost fair and square but said a late change to the weigh-in had messed him up physically and mentally.

Funeka's defeat by Campbell was also fair but the draw with Guzman was blatant robbery. Ndlovu will be ushered into battle by his trainer and father Stanley Ndlovu and Nyambeni Ndlovu, who is Takalani's younger brother.

"I'm not fighting the judges, I'm fighting Steve Molitor," Ndlovu told journalists in Canada this week when asked if he expected a fair deal.

Funeka's corner will once again be manned by the Bungu brothers, Vuyani and Dudu.

X