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Manzana rebuffs claim he called for Malindi to be stripped his title

‘I did not post anything on social media’

Lusizo Manzana
Lusizo Manzana

Fight-starved ABU bantamweight champion Lusizo Manzana has vehemently denied calling for boxing authorities to strip Ronald Malindi of his SA title.

Manzana was reacting to allegations made on Wednesday by Malindi’s homeboy from Venda, trainer Charity Mukondeleli, who said what really hurt him most was that Manzana made that suggestion while Malindi was still fighting for his life in hospital.

He was shot twice in Westbury in September.

Mukondeleli then gave the thumbs up to Landile Ngxeke to beat up Manzana when they fight for that belt on December 16. It became vacant when Malindi passed away last month.

Ngxeke and Manzana are the top rated contenders and these former stablemates in Mdantsane have been given the nod for the fight.

Promoter Ayanda Matiti will stage their bout at Orient Theatre. It will be part of his five-title championship, which will mark his fourth edition of his “Night of Championship” event.

“I did not post anything on social media,”  said Manzana yesterday. “There was a story in the newspaper where it was suggested that I fight for the interim title. I had nothing to do with it.

“I understand Charity’s frustration because they were friends. I hold no grudges against Charity, I just wish he could get to see that story.”

Manzana has just been reinstated in Boxing SA’s ratings. He was removed last month due to inactivity. 

“My camp protested with BSA because it was not my fault that I did not fight for over a year,” said Manzana whose last fight was on July 3, 2022, when he won the ABU belt after defeating Mawande Mbusi on points after 10 rounds.

Regarding his upcoming fight against Ngxeke, Manzana said: “The outcome will be determined by one thing, and that is who wants it most. He’s been a champion before, for me this is my first chance and I wanted to be a champion since the day I fought my first fight.”

Manzana, 26,  from Mthatha has chalked up 10 wins against a loss. Ngxeke, 29, from Sada in the Eastern Cape vacated the national junior bantamweight belt recently because he moved up to the bantamweight class. He has 12 wins, a loss and a draw.

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