Nkosi not scared of 'Small' Bagwasi

Ayanda Nkosi after flooring Cosmos Cheka to win the WBA Pan African lightweight title in Durban./Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
Ayanda Nkosi after flooring Cosmos Cheka to win the WBA Pan African lightweight title in Durban./Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Boxing experts are already talking big about Steven Bagwasi from Gaborone, in Botswana, yet the 25-year-old, who goes by the moniker "Small", has only four wins under his name.

Having fought his first professional bout at home in December last year, the former top amateur has fought twice in Swaziland and Polokwane.

Bagwasi's fights have been aired by Fox Sports Africa and were staged by Setanta Promotions.

However, his kudos do not send chills down the spine of East Rand-based boxing manager Vusumuzi Malinga, whose charge Ayanda "Greyhound" Nkosi will attempt a third defence of his WBA Pan African lightweight title against Bagwasi at Sibaya Casino in Durban next Friday.

The seven-bout international tournament, which features fighters from SA, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi and Nigeria, will be the last in the year for both Setanta Promotions and Fox Sport Africa.

Interestingly, Nkosi fought in both tournaments where Bagwasi appeared.

Nkosi, who is trained by Patrick Malinga, Thulani Buthelezi and Thami Mbonambi at the JD Malinga Boxing Gym of late accomplished trainer Jabulani Malinga, won the WBA Pan African title in Botswana in October last year.

The 25-year-old hard-hitter has 11 wins, nine by knockout, against a single loss

Said Malinga: "We are not scared of Bagwasi and we do not undermine him - there is nothing special about him. Fortunately we know who we are fighting."

Nkosi began his career under Jabulani at the age of 10.

"He's got a lot of amateur background," said Malinga

Vusumuzi - who held the SA bantamweight title - retired in 2013 while Patrick packed it last year.

They joined Buthelezi and Mbonambi, whose first champions is Nkosi

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