By Ron Jackson
Branco Milenkovic of Branco Sports Productions has announced that Takalani Ndlovu will defend his IBF junior featherweight belt against Jeffrey Mathebula in a return match at Carnival City near Brakpan, South Africa, on March 24. On September 10, 2010 at Carnival City, Ndlovu 33-6; 18 and Mathebula 25-3-2; 14 fought to a highly disputed 12 round split points decision in an IBF title eliminator. The scores were 118-109 and 114-113 for Ndlovu and 114-113 for Mathebula.
Ndlovu would go on to win the IBF junior featherweight belt when he upset the highly rated Steve Molitor in March last year to avenge two previous losses against Molitor. He then made a successful defence against Giovanni Caro on October 29, 2011 in Mexico.
Since facing Ndlovu, Mathebula a former Olympian has kept busy with wins against Sizwe Hasheni (tko 2) and Oscar Chauke (pts 12) in an IBF title eliminator.
This will be Mathebula’s second attempt at winning a world belt. In April 2009 he was robbed of the decision against Celestino Cabellero in Panama when challenging for the WBA and IBF junior featherweight belts. Even the local newspapers reported that they were of the opinion that he should have received the decision.
After there disputed first match this bout could really turn into a grudge match.
Promoter Milenkovic said “This is the fight that needs no marketing because it markets itself after the war the two fighters waged in their first bout.”