IBF shot huge for Clement Kamanga

Clement Kamanga, right, in action against Raymond Kupula in their bout at Turffontein Racecourse, Joburg.
Clement Kamanga, right, in action against Raymond Kupula in their bout at Turffontein Racecourse, Joburg.
Image: Christo Smith

The IBF Africa belt is one of those boxing titles that do not guarantee a boxer anything in future, but Clement "Slow Poison" Kamanga does not mind challenging for it.

He will oppose his Congolese countryman Marios Matamba for the vacant IBF Africa junior-welterweight belt at Emperors Palace on Sunday afternoon.

Kamanga is trained in Booysens, Joburg, by Lionel Hunter, while Matamba, who has been based in Cape Town, will make his debut under Gauteng trainer Peter Smith.

The bout will form part of Golden Gloves's first tournament in the year.

Kamanga views his fight on Sunday as one of the biggest of his career.

"I am excited and it's a big fight - one of my biggest fights in my career," said Kamanga the boxer who is also thrilled to appear at Emperors Palace, which is arguably the biggest boxing venue in the country.

Kamanga's first title fight was for the WBF Intercontinental title, which he lost to Xolani "Tiger" Mcotheli in Soweto in August last year.

Kamanga said he has watched Matamba's fights on YouTube and he described him as a hard hitter.

"I doubt, though, that he has been tested. I am ready for anything that he brings to the ring," said Kamanga, who insisted that "I am fit and ready to rumble".

These days there are more belts that ever and it sometimes can be unclear just what the title a boxer is fighting for may mean. Is it important? Is it prestigious? It is just made up?

The proliferation of belts in recent years is understandable. Governing bodies are happy to create titles to collect sanctioning fees, boxers are always happy to fight for a belt, and a title being on the line means almost automatic bumper ticket sales, which is undeniably a good thing.

Rowan Campbell will welcome Alex Kabangu from Congo for the vacant IBO Africa super-middleweight title in the main attraction of the Battle Station bill.

Action will begin at 2pm.

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