Is Ndongeni scared of another Dlomo beating?

Boxer opts to fight little-known Pambeni instead

18 June 2021 - 09:19
By bongani magasela AND Bongani Magasela
Image: Veli Nhlapo/Sowetan Xolisani "Nomeva" Ndongeni (left) fighting Abraham Ngaendopa during their WBF lightweight title event at Times Square Arena, Pretoria.

Contender No 3 for the SA junior welterweight title Xolisani Ndongeni says he is not interested in challenging for the national title as long as Prince Dlomo is still champion.

Ndongeni did not give a convincing explanation. Perhaps he is scared of the man who knocked him clean out in five rounds last year. Ndongeni mocked Dlomo publicly prior to their fight in Soweto and suffered an embarrassing beating.

Instead of rebuilding his career by becoming the national champion, the former IBO lightweight champion has opted to challenge for the minimal WBA Pan African title on June 26. He will welcome Zimbabwean Peter Pambeni at the DOCC Hall in Soweto where TLB Promotion will stage what they have dubbed the “Night of Honour and Passion”.  

That bout will headline the card that will be dominated by boxers from the Durandt Stable under Damien Durandt. Athenkosi Dumezweni, Emmany Kalombo and Marcus Lebogo are three fighters who will be looking at redeeming themselves after losing their previous fights.

Ndongeni should have rather given credit to Dlomo – the Sowetan trained by Charity Mukondeleli – for his good win and that would have been perfect sportsmanship. That loss was his first to a local boxer.

Ndongeni’s first loss was to American rising star Devin Haney for both the WBC International and WBO Inter-Continental lightweights titles in the US in 2019. Today Haney holds the actual WBC belt and he remains undefeated after 26 fights.

There is nothing unbecoming about getting knocked out in a boxing match. But getting knocked out by someone you belittled publicly is something else.

“I don’t want to lie to you, as long as Prince is the SA champ, I don’t want the SA title,” insisted Ndongeni, who described Pambeni as "far better than Dlomo".