By Ron Jackson
Several SA champions and former champions will be on show in tournaments to be held at Fort Hare, East London, Emperors Palace and Carnival City.
SA super-middleweight champion Balimo Weliya returns to action for the first time since October 9 2011 when he makes the first defence of his title against Charles Oosthuizen at Fort Hare on March 16. Oosthuizen is ranked #4 by Boxing SA. On the same card Nkululeko Mhlongo, who won the national junior middleweight title on August 6 2011, makes his first defence when he faces fourth-ranked Yanga Petani.
SA junior featherweight champion Macbute Sinyabi defends his title against Thabo Sonjica at the Orient Theatre in East London on Sunday March 17. It will be the third fight between the two. Sinyabi, who boasts a record of 20-2, with 18 knockouts, won the first two in 2011, both inside the distance. Sonjica, a southpaw from Duncan Village near East London, is ranked No 2 in the division. He has a record of 16 wins, two defeats – both to Sinyabi – and 12 knockout victories. Sinyabi was born in Mdantsane, East London, but fights out of the Nick Durandt gym in Johannesesburg. He will be making the tenth defence of his title. The tournament is promoted by Mzi Mnguni of Eyethu Promotions.
Jeff Ellis, in conjunction with Golden Gloves Promotions, puts on another Box and Dine show at Emperors Palace, Kempton Park, on Monday March 18. Joey Stiglingh and Jasper Seroka head the bill in a clash for the African Boxing Union junior lightweight title.
Branco Milenkovic, of Branco Productions, brings boxing back to Carnival City near Brakpan on March 23. The main bout, an IBF junior featherweight title eliminator, is between former champions Jeffrey Mathebula, 33, and Takalani Ndlovu, 35. The IBF title is held by Jonathan Romero of Colombia.
Lwandile Sityatha defends his SA flyweight title against Jackson Chauke in East London on Sunday April 7. On the same card Mzolisi Yoyo defends his national junior welterweight title against Thapelo Potwana.