Koti won't write off Naidjala's title challenge

Mzuvukile Magwaca in action against Jose Gonzalez during the WBA Bantamweight International title fight at the Orient Theatre.
Mzuvukile Magwaca in action against Jose Gonzalez during the WBA Bantamweight International title fight at the Orient Theatre.
Image: ALAN EASON

Successful yet modest boxing trainer Zola Koti refuses to dismiss Namibian boxer Immanuel Naidjala, who will challenge Mzuvukile "Old Bones" Magwaca for his IBF Intercontinental bantamweight title at Orient Theatre next Friday.

Instead Koti - who guided Mzonke Fana to stardom - preferred to give credit to Naidjala despite his defeat to Siboniso Gonya for the WBO Intercontinental title in Namibia in April.

The December 8 bout will be Magwaca's first defence of the regional title he won in July.

"Naidjala would surely come here a changed man aiming to make up for the loss to Siboniso. In fact, all the boxers from the stable of Nestor Tobias come fully prepared for war," said Koti.

Naidjala, 33, has 23 wins in 26 bouts.

Magwaca, 25, from Duncan Village, has 11 knockouts in 19 wins.

He is rated No 11 by the IBF in the bantamweight class.

Koti continued: "Magwaca knows that victory will bring with it a top rating. We respect Naidjala like any other boxer we have met before but I expect Magwaca to go in there and prove that he is not up there among the best for nothing."

Magwaca has held the WBF All-Africa junior flyweight, IBO Intercontinental and WBO Intercontinental flyweight, WBA International, WBF and the IBF Intercontinental bantamweight belts.

The bout will form part of the bill that marks the 10th anniversary of Xaba Promotions and Events of promoter Ayanda Matiti. Koti said a good win for Magwaca will make Matiti's job easier in negotiating with the IBF ratings committee for a top rating.

"Ayanda promised us that he will do everything he can to make sure that he presents to us better opportunities for as long as we continue delivering the goods," said Koti.

Matiti said 30% of the gate takings will go to Mabhuti "Macman" Sinyabi - the former SA junior featherweight, SA and IBO International featherweight champion who retired in April.

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