Fitness fears not haunting 'Spook'

Sibusiso Zingange, right, exchanges leather with Ashley Dlamini in 2016 for the vacant ABU title in Boksburg, which Zingange won.
Sibusiso Zingange, right, exchanges leather with Ashley Dlamini in 2016 for the vacant ABU title in Boksburg, which Zingange won.
Image: Nick Lourens

Top Gauteng boxing trainer Sean Smith's insistence that his boxers be in the gym with or without a fight will work in favour of his charge Sibusiso "Spook" Zingange.

Zingange will oppose Prince "Fresh" Ndlovu for the vacant ABU International lightweight title in the main bout of the Arnold Sports Festival at Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg on Friday evening.

Smith said the boxing match was confirmed last Friday but the short notice was not an issue for them because they are always in the gym.

Zingange will attempt to regain the ABU lightweight belt he lost outside the ring due to a failure to defend within the stipulated 90-day period.

He won it against Ashley Dlamini in Boksburg in December 2016.

Said Smith: "Look, the confirmation came late on Friday but that is not a big issue for us because I always have my guys in gym, so Sibusiso is going to deliver the goods. The ABU is a credible belt and victory will get Sibusiso recognised by the WBC [which is like the mother body to the ABU]."

Zingange boasts 11 wins, three losses and two draws, while Ndlovu has 10 wins, five losses and four draws.

Ndlovu, from Seshego, who is trained by Immanuel Mutavhatsindi, gets opportunities one after the other to become a champion but he constantly blows them.

He failed to win the SA featherweight title from Oscar Chauke in 2015, lost to Sydney Maluleke for the IBF Continental title in 2016 and got stopped in two rounds by Rofhiwa Maemu for the ABU featherweight title last year.

Ndlovu then lost to nine-fight novice Khatiso Hlahane over six rounds in October but outpointed Thizwilondi Nemapandoni over 10 rounds in December.

Boxing SA (BSA) chairman and ABU vice-president Peter Ngatane will supervise the bout.

The boxing match between Zingange and Ndlovu will headline the three-day festival that is considered one of the best professional bodybuilding competitions in recent years.

The Arnold Games, named after Schwarzenegger, debuted in South Africa in 2006 and involves 50 sporting codes.

Promoter Khaya Majeke's KM Sports staged the inaugural African leg at the same venue for Friday night's show.

Majeke will again present this year's event with BSA and the Gauteng department of sports.

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