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Is Komanisi biting off more than he can chew?

Looking beyond Cheka might be boxer's downfall

Lusanda Komanisi celebrates after defeating Kabelo Bikitsha during a clash at the Orient Theatre.
Lusanda Komanisi celebrates after defeating Kabelo Bikitsha during a clash at the Orient Theatre.
Image: Alan Eason

History tells us that overconfidence is dangerous for any athlete, and the sport of boxing has been particularly instructive in this regard.

A number of boxers, including Nkululeko Mhlongo, learnt the hard way that cockiness can be a boxer's own worst enemy after he knocked out John Bopape in the 11th round of their 12-rounder in Bloemfontein in April.

Mhlongo lost the South African middleweight title in his first defence.

Another fighter who is taking a big gamble is Lusana Komanisi, who has already signed a fight contract to challenge national champion Tshifhiwa Munyai to a showdown that is scheduled for September 17.

In the meantime, Komanisi will take on Cosmas Cheka over 10 rounds at The Galleria in Sandton next Thursday evening. Komanisi’s  WBA Pan African title will on the line against the vastly experienced 31-year-old veteran of 48 fights – 27 wins, 14 losses and three draws.

Granted, Cheka – a former WBF Africa and Universal Boxing Union Intercontinental junior-welterweight champion – is a journeyman. Such boxers have nothing to lose but a lot to gain with every chance they can get to fight for a title.

Champions tend to look down on such unfancied boxers, and some even drop their guards in training because they believe that the opponent will be easy pickings.

The general impression when a fighter is referred to as a "journeyman" is that they are terrible fighters who turn up, get paid their cheque and go home.

In truth, a journeyman is a hungry fighter who can be dangerous if the incentive is good. Overall, they do possess adequate boxing skills to cause damage. Defeat for Komanisi will shatter his aspiration of dethroning Munyai.

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