SA boxers lose world titles

Xolisani Ndongeni jabs Miguel Escalada in their lightweight clash in this file picture. photo: MARK ANDREWS/ Daily Dispatch
Xolisani Ndongeni jabs Miguel Escalada in their lightweight clash in this file picture. photo: MARK ANDREWS/ Daily Dispatch

IBO lightweight and bantamweight male and female champions Xolisani "Nomeva" Ndongeni and Sharrodene "Shinzo" Fortuin have lost their titles due to failure to defend, IBO president Edward Levine told Sowetan.

Speaking from Florida in the US, Levine explained: "Our IBO champions should defend their titles at least once every nine months, which may be extended for a reasonable cause. Three to six-month extensions may be granted."

Ndongeni - who is based in Johannesburg - won the title in November last year after forcing a stoppage in the 10th round against Jasper Seroka, while Fortuin won her belt on August 28 last year after outpointing Maria Magdalene Rivera from Argentina.

Both boxers are from the Eastern Cape.

Levine said IBO featherweight holder Lusanda "Mexican" Komanisi from Mdantsane requested extra time to defend his title, which was granted.

"He is in the US and we are waiting for the date of his next fight, likely in November," said Levine, a former boxing judge and a leading advocate for the rights of boxers.

Komanisi defended successfully on October 16 last year against Filipino Roli Gasca.

"But Sharrodene Fortuin's title has been vacated due to failure to defend. IBO welterweight champion Tsiko Mulovhedzi is not scheduled as yet, while Ndongeni's title is now vacant by mutual agreement between the champion and the IBO," said Levine.

The IBO is still represented here by junior bantamweight holder Gideon Buthelezi, Mulovhedzi, Moruti "Baby Face" Mthalane (flyweight) and Malcolm "The Stone" Klassen (junior lightweight).

In April, Buthelezi defended against Diego Luis Pichardo Liriano and Mulovhedzi defended against Jesus Gurrola. Mthalane defended against Renz Rosia in December last year.

Klassen won the junior lightweight strap in August ending the illustrious career of Jack Asis, the Australian who retired a few days after his unanimous points loss in Vanderbijlpark.

Levine's boxing body has crowned more than 20 South African champions over the past decade and many of them went on to achieve worldwide fame.

Some of the local boxers who have held IBO belts include Thomas Oosthuizen, Mpush Makambi, Lwandile Sityatha, Peter Malinga, Zolile Mbityi, Silence Mabuza, Cassius Baloyi and Isaac Hlatshwayo.

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