Former world champion starts all over

Mbenge comes for Ndwayana's SA belt

04 December 2020 - 09:08
By bongani magasela AND Bongani Magasela
Thulani Mbenge lands a punch Kuvesa Katembo of the DRC during the ABU Welterweight title at Klipspruit Sports Centre,Soweto.
Image: Veli Nhlapo Thulani Mbenge lands a punch Kuvesa Katembo of the DRC during the ABU Welterweight title at Klipspruit Sports Centre,Soweto.

The gradual redevelopment of Thulani “Evolution” Mbenge continues as he embarks on a journey to win back all the titles that he held previously before capturing the IBO welterweight belt, which he lost in his second defence to Sebastian Formela in Germany on July 6 last year.

That loss – his first after being a successful professional boxer since turning professional in 2015  – impacted negatively on Mbenge's international trek.

Mbenge has already reclaimed the ABU belt which introduced him to the WBC. The ABU is the boxing federation within the WBC, being affiliated with them since 1974. ABU president Houcine Houichi from Tunisia is one of the vice-presidents of the WBC.

Mbenge is now gunning for the SA title, which he vacated after winning the IBO belt. The domestic title is held by Mziwoxolo Ndwayana. Their fight will take place at Kagiso Memorial Centre on December 18. It will be organised by Joyce Kungwane of TLB Promotions, which staged the ABU title fight between Mbenge and Kuvesa Katembo in Soweto last month.

Mbenge boasts a points win over Ndwayana. Mbenge’s trainer, Sean Smith, says there is absolutely nothing wrong with his charge seeking to be the South African champion again.

Ndwayana, from Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, won the title with a seventh-round stoppage of Sean Ness, and has already defended once with a seventh-round knockout of Odwa Gaxa. Ndwayana was later stopped in the second round by Ryan Martin in England on November 30 last year.

Meanwhile, Rumble Africa Promotions tournament, scheduled for Sunday at Orient Theatre, has been called off. CEO Nomfesane Nyatela confirmed in a statement that reads in part: “Due to the resurgence of the Covid-19 infections across the province, and particularly the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, vocational facilities have been closed down.”

“The decision by the municipality has affected our operation as the promotion. However, we fully understand that rationale which puts the lives of our people first.

Azinga Fuzile was to make a comeback in the main bout, where Ronali Malindi was scheduled to make the fourth defence of his SA bantamweight belt against Luzuko Siyo. SA and WBC International flyweight holder Jackson Chauke was to defend against Luyanda Ntwanambi, while Lerato Dlamini and Toto Helebe were scheduled for a 10-rounder in the featherweight class.