There's no aitch nor Eish when it comes to Mbenge
There is one mistake in Tulani Mbenge‚ and perhaps it’s best to sort it out before he tries to win the IBO welterweight championship at Emperors Palace on Saturday.
The error isn’t Mbenge’s‚ but it’s commonplace‚ appearing even on his BoxRec record — the mis-spelling of his first name.
The fact is‚ there’s no aitch in Tulani‚ and Tulz “Evolution” is displaying no eish factor as he heads into the scheduled 12-rounder against Diego Chaves from Argentina.
“I’m excited‚ I really can’t wait‚” Mbenge said at the pre-fight on Tuesday‚ when he came face-to-face with his soft-spoken opponent.
Talking through a translator‚ Chaves said: “I have more experience than Mbenge.”
The South African will surely have to show more maturity than he did in his last outing in March‚ when he allowed his Mexican foe‚ Diego Cruz‚ to sucker him into a slugging contest.
Mbenge will have to dictate the pace against a man who fought to a draw against Timothy Bradley in 2014.
The 26-year-old‚ a 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist‚ is unbeaten in 13 bouts since turning professional in 2015‚ and has stopped 10 of his opponents.
Chaves‚ 32‚ has a record of 26 wins (22 KOs)‚ three losses and a draw.
While their showdown tops the Golden Gloves bill‚ there will be keen interest in the undercard bouts.
In the main supporting bout‚ Thabiso Mchunu takes on Latvian Ricards Bolotniks‚ who is taller and just as chiselled as the South African muscleman.
Mchunu has come unstuck in his some of his bigger fights of late — against Junior Makabu‚ Oleksandr Usyk (which was no disgrace) and most recently Constantin Bejenaru.
Two East Europeans and two defeats; he’ll be looking to make it third time lucky against Bolotniks.
And Rowan Campbell‚ unbeaten in six bouts‚ is taking on Malkhaz Sijashvili of Georgia‚ who has won 10 of his 11 bouts.
Mchunu needs to win if he wants to fight Tommy Gun Oosthuizen on September 1‚ while Campbell’s next bout is for the vacant South African super-middleweight title in August.
Middleweight Wade Groth faces Andile Mntungwa over six rounds and Ayabonga Sonjica faces Tumelo Matsane at junior-featherweight.