By Ron Jackson
Former WBF and South African junior welterweight champion Samuel Malinga and Pius Dipheko meet for the WBO Africa interim junior welterweight title at the Wembley Indoor Arena near Johannesburg on Saturday night. The 30-year-old Malinga (21-6-2, 12 KOs) who is coming off two losses should have the beating of the light hitting Dipheko who has a reported record of 8-7-5, 2 KOs.
In August 2007 Dipheko who made his pro debut in March 1996 was stopped in the seventh round by Jason Naule in Windhoek in a clash for the WBA Pan African light welterweight title.
In his only two recorded fights since then, his fight with Thabo Mashishi ended in a second round technical draw (March 16, 2008) and a six rounds points win over Tsiko Mulovhedzi (August 9, 2008).
Malinga a ten-year pro won the World Boxing Foundation junior welterweight belt in Plymouth, England in July 2003 when he stopped the highly regarded Ted Bami in three rounds and then claimed the vacant South African junior welterweight title with a stoppage win over Lawrence Ngobeni in February 2005.
After making successful defences against Ngobeni on two occasions, Alvin Mahonisi and Colin Mayisela he lost the title to Kaizer Mabuza in October 2008.
In his most recent fight in September this year Malinga was outpointed over 12 rounds by Ali Nuumbembe in a contest for the vacant WBO Africa welterweight title.
Despite coming off two losses Malinga should have enough to take the decision against the rugged Dipheko who has only lost one fight inside the distance.