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Bulana can expect fierce resistance in the Cape

East London's star aims to dethrone Stemela in his first defence

Khanyile Bulana wants to redeem himself on Saturday.
Khanyile Bulana wants to redeem himself on Saturday.
Image: Michael Pinyana

The concerted effort from East London boxing stables to produce SA champions continues tomorrow when Khanyile Bulana challenges SA junior-lightweight champion Lunga Stemela in Cape Town on Saturday.

It will be the Western Cape champion’s first defence of the belt he won on May 26 when the defending champion Sibisiso Zingange was unable to continue with the fight after dislocating his shoulder in the 10th round.

Bulana has previously held the SA featherweight belt, which was once held by his homeboy Sabelo Jubatha from Scenery Park. In the event Bulana wins, it will be the third to be held by a boxer from East London in Eastern Cape.

Other national champions from the province are Asemahle Wellem (super middleweight), Thulani Mbenge (welterweight), Lusanda  Komanisi (lightweight), Lwandile Ngxeke (junior bantamweight) and Bangile Nyangani (mini-flyweight).

Khanyile who has gone back to long-time trainer Kholisile Cengani must expect fierce resistance from Stimela who wants to remain national champion – the only in Cape Town.

The current situation in Eastern Cape, more so East London, is unusual as that province used to dominate in terms of the number of national champions in the country. It was usually followed by Gauteng, who now lead the pack with most national champions – Chris Thompson (heavyweight), John Bopape (middleweight), Shervontaigh Koopman (junior middleweight), Bongani Mahlangu (junior-featherweight), Ronald Malindi (bantamweight), Jackson Chauke (flyweight) and Mpumelelo Tshabalala (junior-flyweight).

KwaZulu Natal has two champions Thabiso Mchunu (cruiserweight) and Prince Dlomo (junior-welterweight) while both Limpopo and Eastern Cape have a champion each Jeff Magagane (featherweight) and Bangile Nyangani (mini-flyweight).

Wellem, Mbenge, Komanisi, Mchunu, Dlomo, Magagane and Nyangani are all based in Gauteng under different trainers. Ngxeke is the only one who is still at home.

Bulana has not fought for more than a year. He was stopped in round one by Italian Michael Magnesi in an IBO title challenge in Italy.

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