Japhta win would light up Westbury

MARCEL "Lights Out" Japhta hopes to end Westbury's eight-year wait for a champion when he challenges Sabelo "Homicide" Jubatha for the South African featherweight belt on Friday.

MARCEL "Lights Out" Japhta hopes to end Westbury's eight-year wait for a champion when he challenges Sabelo "Homicide" Jubatha for the South African featherweight belt on Friday.

The fight will take place at the Nangoza Jebe Hall, formerly Great Centenary Hall, in Port Elizabeth.

Jubatha, from Mdantsane, will bid for the first defence of the national belt he won via a 10th-round stoppage of Thando "Slugger" Vukuza on December 12 last year.

The fight will be presented jointly by Boxing South Africa's 2009 promoter of the year, S'Phatho Handi, and the Nelson Mandela Boxing Promoters. Handi trades under the banner of Mamali Promotions.

Jubatha has 14 wins and one loss. He is trained by Boxing SA 2008 trainer of the year Lennox Mpulampula at Enothole Gym in Mdantsane.

Japhta, the 2007 Baby Champs holder, has 12 wins (4 KOs) against one defeat and one draw. He is under the guidance of trainers Benny Pailman, Peter Faver and Cliff Martins at Westside Boxing Academy in Westbury.

Westbury used to be the home of champions, with the likes of Cameroon "The Champ" Adams, Daniel "Captain Fists" Ward and Earl Morais all hailing from the suburb in the west of Johannesburg.

Morais was the last champion from Westbury. He won the SA cruiserweight title on January 9 2000.

The fighter, who was trained by Reggie Healey, added the WBA Pan African belt after outpointing Chris Sirengo at Carnival City, Brakpan, on June 2 2001.

But Morais's reign ended at Sun City on August 22 2003 when Baldwin "Black Stone" Hlungwane, who was also trained by Pailman, Faver and Martins, stopped him in the sixth round.

Morais has since hung up his gloves. Ward, also from Westbury, won the Transvaal, SA and Commonwealth flyweight titles. Adams was the Transvaal middleweight champion.

l The Japhta-Jubatha fight will be beamed live on SABC2's Blow by Blow boxing programme from 10pm.

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