By Ron Jackson
Kaizer Mabuza makes the first defence of his South African junior welterweight title when he meets Mzukisi Mgidi at the Orient Theatre in East London on Friday night. Mabuza (19-6-3, 11 KOs), who also holds the WBA Pan African junior welterweight title, won the national title when he upset Samuel Malinga in Bloemfontein in October last year. Mgidi from East London who made his pro debut in June 1999 has a reported record of (17-3-2, 12 KOs) and is ranked at number one in the most recent Boxing SA rankings.
He has only had one recorded fight in 2008 and that was a six round points decision over Benedict Dlamini on June 27.
In 2007 the challenger who has never fought outside the Eastern Cape scored inside the distance victories over Gcobile Moon, Schoeman Sindane and the former SA junior welterweight champion Lawrence Ngobeni.
Mabuza, 28, who was stopped in the first round by Isaac Hlatshwayo on his pro debut in February 2000 was inactive in 2006 and in 2007 lost two close 12 round points decisions to Robert Medley in Australia and Emmanel Lartei in Ghana.
However, in 2008 he got his career back on track with a draw against Anthony Tshehla and inside the distance wins over Jason Naule to win the WBA Pan African junior welterweight title, Ephraim Swandle and Jason Naule again before winning the SA title from Samuel Malinga.
Both fighters are evenly matched in a bout that could go either way.