By Ron Jackson
Former South African and WBC International flyweight champion Nkqubela Gwazela will have his second crack at winning the SA bantamweight title when he meets Klaas Mboyane for the vacant crown at the Orient Theatre in East London on Sunday afternoon. The title became vacant when Simphiwe Vetyeka won the vacant IBO bantamweight belt at Emperors Palace earlier this month. The southpaw Mboyane (10-6-2, 6 KOs) has a rather patchy record but has shown better form and fitness since joining trainer Gert Strydom earlier this year. On July 3 this year he won the Gauteng bantamweight title when he knocked out the previously unbeaten prospect Cleutus Mbhele in the fourth round. Mboyane was very active in 2008 scoring wins over Siyabulela Ziqula, Bongani Siwisa, Tshepo Mofokeng and Mbhele. He lost to Simon Ngodhi, Abmerk Shindjuu and Tendai Munyai and fought to a draw with Unathi Gqokoma.
The 29-year-old Gwazela (18-5, 14 KOs) who was born in Umtata made his professional debut in August 1999 with a stoppage win over Jeffrey Boesman.
In August 2002 in an action packed fight against Ncedo Cecane he was outpointed over 12 rounds in a clash for the vacant SA flyweight title.
However, in a return match in December 2003 he won the flyweight title when he knocked out Cecane in the tenth round.
He made successful defenses of the title against Patrick Twala, Linda Meany and Marti Thalami.
However, in February 2005 he was stripped of the title by Boxing SA when he tested positive for a banned substance.
In June 2005 he returned to action with a point’s decision over the experienced Khulile Makeba and in September 2006 stopped Thembelani Shushwana in three.
After suffering points losses to Vusile Bebe and Umzimkhulu Funde in 2007 he finished the year with a knockout win over Ebenezer Tulane.
Last year he outpointed Ntobeko Duma and lost a points decision against Simphiwe Vetyeka when challenging for the SA bantamweight title and in November stopped Mthutuzeli Funde in the first round.
The more experienced and power punching Gwazela must be favored to take the vacant title and he could even score a late round stoppage.
Zolile Mbityi, 40, who has held the SA flyweight and junior bantamweight titles and also the IBO flyweight and super flyweight belts meets former SA mini flyweight champion Sithembile Kibiti at the bantamweight limit over 8 rounds.
Originally Mbityi was advertised as fighting Julio Ler of Argentina in a ten round international match.
However, subsequently Kibiti (18-3, 13 KOs) who has not fought since March 2007 was brought in as an opponent.
This is a potential mismatch.
On the undercard 20-year-old prospect Luzuko Siyo from Duncan Village takes on the experienced Khuselekile Gada in a strawweight bout scheduled for four rounds.
Siyo who won the SA amateur light flyweight championship in 2008 will be having his third professional fight.
The tournament is presented by Mzi Mnguni of Eyethu Promotions.