Innocent "Tycoon" Mantengu could be the loser in duel between promoters

Innocent Mantengu, right, says he's been training hard, preparing for the fight that's supposed to be on Sunday.
Innocent Mantengu, right, says he's been training hard, preparing for the fight that's supposed to be on Sunday.
Image: MARK ANDREWS

When two bulls fight, it's the grass that suffers.

This is exactly what will happen during the fight between boxing promoters Meme Dipheko and Thembalethu Ntuthu over the rights to stage the South African junior-featherweight title bout between holder Innocent "Tycoon" Mantengu and mandatory challenger Ayabonga "Jay Jay" Sonjica.

Dipheko trades under Team Dida, while Ntuthu promotes under the banner of Rumble Africa Promotions.

Dipheko has a contract with Mantengu from Mtubatuba, who is trained in Johannesburg by his homeboy Sam Ndlovu. Dipheko is based in Kagiso on the West Rand.

Ntuthu, from East London, promotes the Johannesburg-based Sonjica from Duncan Village, who is trained in Johannesburg by Sean Smith.

Dipheko wants to stage Mantengu's mandatory defence against Sonjica in Kagiso in October and Ntuthu also wants to organise the same fight, but in East London, on September 29 - on the undercard of the IBF junior- lightweight elimination bout between Azinga Fuzile and Russian Shavkatdzhon Rakhimov.

Mantengu won the vacant title against Thato Bonokoane in Meme's tournament in Kagiso on June 28. Bonokoane, from Kagiso, is trained by Meme's husband Pius Dipheko, a former professional boxer who is helping his wife with some of the boxing intricacies.

According to the rules and regulations, Mantengu must defend within 90 days. His time on the throne expires at the end of September.

The two promoters are alleged to be involved in verbal barbs over the rights to stage the fight.

Boxing SA must intervene before there is blood on the floor or tears from Mantengu's eyes after being stripped of the belt if he does not defend it within 90 days.

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