By Ron Jackson
Patrick Malinga makes the first defense of his South African lightweight title when he meets Mzolisi Yoyo from Mdantsane at the Finetown Centre in Lenasia on Friday night.
The tournament is presented by Reggie Hilmer and Gavin Hope of Future Boxing Promotions. Yoyo was originally rejected as a challenger by Boxing SA when he failed a medical test on renewal of his licence. It was reported that the interim CEO of Boxing SA Loyiso Mtya said that Yoyo had tested positive for Hepatitis B at the first medical examination, but a subsequent examination produced a different result and he was declared fit to challenge for the title.
Malinga 23-6-2; 20 won the SA title in August last year last when he stopped Amon Baloyi in the twelfth round of a brutal fight.
Baloyi collapsed in the ring after the fight was stopped was and spent some time in hospital under observation. Subsequently his licence was withdrawn by Boxing SA.
Boxing SA also suspended Malinga for sixty days as a precautionary measure.
In February this year the 31-year-old Malinga returned to action and was most impressive in scoring a fourth round knockout win over Romeo Jakosalem of the Philippines.
Malinga has been in with some good fighters, but his losses against Mzonke Fana, Matthew Zulu, Alex Arthur, British junior lightweight champion at the time and Isaac Hlatshwayo were all inside the distance.
However, he is on an eight fight unbeaten streak at the moment with seven of those wins coming inside the distance.
Yoyo who has a reported record of 11-2; 8 made his pro debut in October 1995 with a loss to Wandile Warren Stelle. His only other loss was to Kwanele Matiwane in April 2004.
He has won his last three fights against Luzuko Phike, Zamani Hate and Luyanda Jako, but has not fought at the same level as the champion and he has never been beyond eight rounds in a fight.
The champion must be favoured to retain his title.