Dlamini hopes to make most of second chance

Former featherweight champ to fight in final eliminator for WBC title

Lerato Dlamini, left, and Sydney Maluleke exchange blows during their WBC International fight which Dlamini won by a split points decision over 12 rounds on Sunday.
Lerato Dlamini, left, and Sydney Maluleke exchange blows during their WBC International fight which Dlamini won by a split points decision over 12 rounds on Sunday.
Image: Nick Lourens

Lerato “Lights Out” Dlamini refused to allow emotions to get the better of him when the WBC relieved him of its silver featherweight boxing title in August.

The championship committee of the Mexico-based boxing body took that decision as Dlamini had not defended within the specified period since winning the belt in 2019. 

The same boxing body did not drop Dlamini from the top five bracket in its ratings, and this has made it possible for the sanctioning committee to mandate Dlamini to face Mexican Eduardo Ramirez in what the WBC officially recognises as the final eliminator for the WBC featherweight title.

Dlamini is rated at No 4, two spots below Ramirez. The champion is American Gary Russell who has also been mandated by the boxing body to defend against No 3 contender Mark Magsayo.

This means that the winner between Dlamini and Ramirez will challenge the winner between Russell and Magsayo of the Philippines.

Dlamini said he felt great about the chance the WBC has given him. “I told you when I got stripped my WBC silver title in August that when one door closes, the other opens,” said the well-spoken fighter from the Free State. “We don’t have a date as yet but I am training hard. I don’t want Ramirez to catch me ill-prepared.”

Dlamini added that he has watched some of Ramirez's taped fights. “I know what to do to win the fight. I am confident I will win the fight and put myself in line for the WBC title.”

The green and gold WBC belt is often regarded as the most prestigious title of the major sanctioning bodies, with the others being the WBA, IBF, WBO and IBO.

Nathan bragged: “Nobody can do in this country what I do for my fighters. I am only at the start of bigger things to come in my career; the best is yet to come. I am excited about the opportunity given to Lerato and there is a good vibe in the gym. I get my fighters opportunities to be involved in high-profile fights – the eliminators and legitimate world titles.”

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