Hadebe plans smash 'n grab

Gabisile 'Simply The Best' Tshabalala.
Gabisile 'Simply The Best' Tshabalala.
Image: MOHAU MOFOKENG

Heavyweight king Machimana defends against novice Visser.

Gabisile "Simply the Best" Tshabalala is the hot favourite to overwhelm Smangele "Smash" Hadebe in their non-title bout but trainer Themba Zulu has warned that Hadebe could upset the bookies, especially if Tshabalala relies solely on her longevity.

Tshabalala is the former SA and WBF junior featherweight world champion who has chalked up 10 wins from 13 fights in a career spanning seven years.

Hadebe has been around since last year and has recorded three wins, a loss and a draw.

Their clash will take place at Emerald Casino in Vanderbijlpark tonight.

Zulu warned: "It takes one punch to either make or break a boxer. I know Gabisile very well; she grew up as a fighter right in front of me and I respect her. But I can assure fans that we will go out there to compete and anything can happen."

Hadebe's consistency last year, when she won three fights, netted her BSA's female prospect of the year award - the trophy that Tshabalala lifted in 2011. Her only loss was to experienced current WBF bantamweight champion Bukiwe Nonina.

Tshabalala, whose impressive skills are honed in Evaton by Elias Mpembe, was defeated by New Zealander Shannon O'Connell for the WBF featherweight title and Zambian Catherine Phiri for the WBC bantamweight belt.

In the main bout, SA heavyweight champion Osborne "Big Daddy" Machimana defends against Ruann "Giant King" Visser. Machimana has flattened 17 of his 27 victims but he was also stopped six times.

Visser, 27, is an inexperienced campaigner who has a height and reach advantage only on his side. Eleven of his victims in 12 wins did not last scheduled distances. He has a single defeat.

The tournament tonight will be staged by Cape Town-based promoter Steve Kalakoda.

lNokwanda Mbatha's Tono Promotions will stage its maiden development tournament, dubbed Umfolozi Heat, at Imbizo Hall in Empangeni on Sunday afternoon.

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