'Wolf's lair not same as the lion's den for rookie Lebo Mashitoa'

Akani Phuzi and Chris Thompson in their bout in Randburg where Phuzi won by KO. /Nick Lourens
Akani Phuzi and Chris Thompson in their bout in Randburg where Phuzi won by KO. /Nick Lourens

Former professional boxer Lionel Hunter has quashed the opinion that he is throwing his rookie Lebo Mashitoa into the lion's den against Chris "The Wolf" Thompson.

Their cruiserweight bout will form part of the Battle of Warriors 3 bill organised by promoter Jani Hebler of 5th Element Promotions at Time Square in Pretoria on Sunday.

"I will never do that. I care a lot for my fighters. I accepted the offer for this fight because I believe that Lebo has fair chance of winning," said Hunter yesterday. His 22-year-old boxer remains undefeated in five matches.

Thompson is also a newcomer in the game but has met big boys including Gauteng and WBA Pan African champion Akani "Prime" Phuzi.

"Lebo is a fit boy. Yes, he does not have much experience but Chris is not a great boxer in my book," said Hunter.

"Chris does not have an amateur background; he comes from the cage fighting [scene] while Lebo had quite a number of amateur fights.

"Look, Alan Toweel Jr [who trains Phuzi] offered us a fight against his boy but I turned that offer down because Phuzi is a far more experienced former amateur.

"Lebo will hold his own and in fact he has a good chance. They are both left-handers. It will be an interesting fight but I will never put Lebo in a lion's den against boys like Phuzi."

Hebler's third tournament features Ruann Visser, Justice Siliga, Joshua Pretorius, Thompson, Mashitoa and Noa Chikwambane (all SA); Elvis Moyo (Zimbabwe), Kizito Rumhamnye and Valentino Munda (both Congo), Dennis Mwale (Malawi) and Denys Lazarev of Ukraine, who will be making his third appearance at Time Square.

"Our tournament will be used as an incubation hub that will assist in performance art, dance and other areas of interest within the creative economy.

"We have created an event which includes original choreographed performances from both current South African Dance champions and Performance Art Federation champions."

Action will begin at 2pm.

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