By Ron Jackson
Former South African junior featherweight champion Oscar Chauke returns to action for the first time since losing to Jeffrey Mathebula on a split decision in their IBF eliminator on June 11 last year, when he faces Themba Lesiba at Gold Reef City near Johannesburg on June 26.
The Box and Dine tournament is presented by Chauke’s manager and trainer Manny Fernandes, who feels that this is the only way to keep his fighters active with the current slump in South Africa boxing.
The 31-year-old Chauke who has been fighting as a pro for more that 12 years hopes to keep his career alive and if he successful against Lesiba who is ranked at number three in the Boxing SA ratings he will try to regain SA title that he relinquished when he won the World Boxing Foundation junior featherweight belt in November 2007.
The South African title is held by Macbute Sinyabi who recently lost to Thangthong Kiattaweesuk in an IBF eliminator.
Lesiba who has a reported record of 10-2, 5 KOs, made his pro debut in June 2007 with a four round points win over Shadrack Molekwa.
After racking up an eight fight unbeaten streak he was stopped in the sixth round by Macbute Sinyabi in May 2010 when challenging for the South African junior featherweight title.
He lost his next fight on points to Tello Dithebe but since that setback, has scored inside the distance victories over Johannes Nthontho, Sabelo Nokhele and Dumisani Tose.
Other bouts on the bill are: Junior middleweight, 6 rounds: Sylvester Zaki v Theo Mpakane and the following four rounders: Welterweight: Kyle Smith v Goodman Zanempi; Welterweight: Zane Mundell v Jermiah Joshua; Featherweight: Thembani Hobanyani v Nkosinathi Ntshangase; Junior middleweight: Dowayne Combrink v Andile Nomala; Junior middleweight: Zan Jonker v Master Mangaladza; Middleweight: Walter Dlamini v Plumza Nduvheni.
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South African bantamweight champion, 36-year-old Phumzile Matyhila from Mdantsane returns to action after a along absence when he defends his title against Toto Helebe from Gugulethu in Cape Town, at the Orient Theatre in East on Sunday June 24.
In his first two title defences Matyhila who represented South Africa at the 1998 and 2002 Commonwealth Games and 2000 Sydney Olympics outpointed Ntobela Duma and stopped Cleutus Mbhele in the ninth round.
The tournament is presented by Koko Godlo’s KK Productions.
It has been reported that Limpopo Boxing Promotions have entered into a partnership with several municipalities in the province to promote and develop boxing.
Josias Maphepha of Limpopo Boxing Promotions intends promoting a series of small development tournaments.
World champions like Cassius Baloyi, Phillip Ndou, Isaac Hlatshwayo and Jeffrey Mathebula are all originally from the Limpopo province.
The first tournament is scheduled for June 23 in partnership with the Lepelle Nkumpim municipality.
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Bongani Mfundisi who was stopped in the seventh round by Simphiwe Khonco in their clash for vacant South African mini flyweight title last at the Orient Theatre recently has been advised by a neurosurgeon to lay off boxing for at least a year.