Mhlongo-Kalombo fight spiced up

Emanny 'The General' Kalombo, left and Nkululeko 'Bull Dog' Mhlongo look each other in the eye before their shootout for the WBF Intercontinental title on Friday. / Brian Wysoke
Emanny 'The General' Kalombo, left and Nkululeko 'Bull Dog' Mhlongo look each other in the eye before their shootout for the WBF Intercontinental title on Friday. / Brian Wysoke

Rival boxing promoters Lebo Mahoko and Andre Thysse have gone a step up in inspiring their boxers Nkululeko "Bull Dog" Mhlongo and Emanny "The General" Kalombo to produce their best when they fight for the vacant WBF Intercontinental junior middleweight belt on Friday night.

These promoters have taken a bet of R50000 each on their charges winning the bout. They agreed that the losing promoter will present his opposite number with his cash inside the ring just before the champion is crowned.

Mahoko and Thysse - who are also successful businessmen - also agreed that the newly crowned champion will pocket R20000 from their bet.

Mahoko, who trades under Dream Team Promotion, guides the career of Mhlongo while Thysse's Johannesburg-based Real Steel Promotion promotes Kalombo. Thysse will stage the bout at Edenvale Community Centre.

"Andre challenged me with R20000 and said Kalombo will do to Mhlongo what he has done to his previous eight opponents," Mahoko said.

The 27-year-Congolese, who is trained in Johannesburg by Damien Durandt, has stopped all eight of his opponents.

"I challenged him to up his bet to R50000 and he agreed," said Mahoko. "We are trying to bring excitement to our sport while encouraging boxers to give fans value for their money. The winner will definitely be happy to get an extra R20000 on his purse money. I know that Nkululeko will emerge victorious."

Mhlongo, the current SA champion from Eshowe in KwaZulu-Natal, is under the tutelage of respected trainer Gert Strydom in Johannesburg. The 34-year-old has stopped 12 of his 16 opponents and lost five times in the process.

Thysse said: "I know that Kalombo will win. Look, the fights he's had before are not the best but based on what I saw in training for this one, I am convinced that he will beat Mhlongo."

The main supporting bout looks good with Jackson "M3" Chauke and Sihle "The Sting" Jelwana fighting for the vacant WBF International flyweight title.

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