By Ron Jackson
Tshepo Lefele makes the first defence of his South African minumumweight title against Sakhumzi Mqadaru at the Nasrec Indoor Arena in Johannesburg on Friday night. The 28-year-old Lefele from Theunissen in the Free State made his pro debut in April 2000 losing on a first round stoppage to Mzwandile Nkele. However, he put this setback behind him and won his next twelve fights in a row and in June 2005 captured the vacant WBC International minimumweight title when he outpointed Elmer Gejon from the Philippines.
The year 2006 was a bad one for Lefele 14-4; 8 as he lost the WBC International title to Gabriel Pumar of the Philippines on a seventh round stoppage and was blown away in one round by Jonas Kgasago.
He was inactive in 2007 and in 2008 he scored a six round points decision over Pule Nhlapo before losing to Zukisani Kwayiba when challenging for the WBC International minmumweight title and then upset the form with an outstanding win over Gideon Buthelezi to win the SA minimumweight title.
Mquadaru with a reported record of 6-4-3; 4 hails from the Eastern Cape and will go into the fight as the underdog.
He made his pro debut in July 2001 with a draw against Xolani Daniels and in August 2003 he was stopped in two rounds by the current IBO strawweight champion Nkosinathi Joyi.
Mqadaru who holds the Eastern Cape minimumweight title and is ranked at number seven in the most recent Boxing SA rankings had a good 2008 scoring inside the distance wins over Siyamcela Gegesi and Lwazi Ndudeni.
The champion should win this one inside the distance but will have tighten his defence against the potent left hook of the challenger.
The tournament is presented by Branco Milencovic of Branco Sports Promotions.