By Ron Jackson
Nearly five years after fighting at the Olympic Games, Jackson Chauke has a chance of winning a national professional title this weekend. Chauke gets his long-awaited shot at a title when he challenges SA flyweight champion Lwandile Sityatha at the Orient Theatre in East London on Sunday afternoon.
Chauke was an outstanding amateur who won the flyweight division at the SA championships in 2004 and 2005. He won a silver medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and also represented South Africa at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where he lost his first fight.
The 27-year-old Chauke has compiled a professional record of 10-0, with one technical draw and 6 short-cut wins. Fighting out of Tembisa in Gauteng, he made his professional debut on October 7 2008 when he stopped Zandiseli Twani in the second round. He had only seven fights in the next three years but last year beat Nyelisani Thagambega, Mluleki Fukile and Vuyisile Rangxa to qualify for a crack at the national title.
Siyatha, whose record stands at 15-2; 7, is from Mdantsane, near East London. He is making the first defence of the title he took from Themba Ntsele last December. After turning professional in April 2007, he won his first six fights before losing to Nelson Mtshali in the Baby Champs final in January 2008. A year later he suffered his second loss as a professional when Siviwe Ntsiko stopped him in the tenth round of a bout for the vacant Eastern Cape mini-flyweight title. However, he won his next four fights before upsetting “Doctor” Ntsele.
On the undercard on Sunday, Mzolisa Yoyo (19-4; 14) makes the fourth defence of his SA junior welterweight title when he faces third-ranked Thapelo Potwana.
Miniyakhe Sityatha, the SA junior bantamweight champion and brother of Mwandile, meets Michael Barnor from Ghana in a clash for the vacant WBA Pan-African bantamweight title.
The tournament is presented by Ayanda Matiti of Xaba Promotions.