Taliwe to defend title in Australia

BELT ON: WBC International junior lightweight champion Sipho Taliwe Photo: Gallo Images
BELT ON: WBC International junior lightweight champion Sipho Taliwe Photo: Gallo Images

SIPHO "Tsunami" Taliwe again gets to show the world what he is capable of as a boxer, thanks to promoter Rodney Berman.

The 32-year-old boxer, from Aliwal North in Eastern Cape, will travel to Australia next week where he will bid for the fourth defence of his WBC International junior lightweight title against that country's rising star, Matt Garlett, at the Melbourne Pavilion, on May 16.

Taliwe, the former undefeated South African champion, has been a professional boxer since 2004. His big break came in 2011 when Berman featured him in his bill at Emperors Palace, where Taliwe won the WBC International belt from Vinvin Ruffino.

Taliwe has made three defences at that venue and his consistency earned him Berman's trust - and a trip to Australia.

The South African has experience that should be good enough to keep him at the helm and probably pave way for a brighter future. He boasts 14 short-route wins from 20 victories against two defeats and a draw, while Garlett, 28, from Perth, has 10 wins (3 KO and 3 TKOs) from only 11 fights.

The May 16 showdown will form part of a bill which has an undercard, including well-known Australians such as Garth Wood (PABA light heavyweight champion), Brad Pitt (IBO Asia Pacific cruiserweight titlist) and Willie Kickett (WBO Asia Pacific Youth and IBF Pan Pacific Youth junior lightweight champion).

Topping the card will be the IBO junior lightweight clash between defending champion Will Tomlinson against Taliwe's stablemate, Malcolm "The Stone" Klassen.

This bout is an undeniable step up in class for Tomlinson. Klassen, is a former two-time IBF and WBF champion whose last defeat as the IBF champion four years ago was a split points decision against Robert "Ghost" Guerrero. The Mexican will challenge WBC welterweight champion Floyd "Money" Mayweather in Las Vegas on Sunday morning.

Trainer Benny Pailman is looking forward to his trip Down Under. He described it as a big one for him as a trainer but promised to bring home the two belts.

"Sipho and Malcolm have been waiting for this chance, especially Malcolm who gets a second chance to become a world champion."