By Ron Jackson
Two South African titles and a WBA Pan African title will be at stake on the Rob’s Promotions six-bout card at the Boiketlong Hall in Sasolburg on Friday night. In the main event Thabiso Mchunu, 21, defends his South African and WBA Pan African junior heavyweight title against Soon Botes who will celebrate his 37th birthday on June 5. Also, in a clash of champions, Kgotso Motau defends his South African super middleweight title against national middleweight champion Peter Mashamaite, and former WBF and South African junior welterweight champion Sam Malinga returns to action when meets Namibian Jason Naule in an eight rounder.
The exciting young knockout artist Mchunu who has won all his six bouts inside the distance since joining the professional ranks in July 2007 defends his two titles against the veteran Soon Botes 27-12; 16 a former South African super middleweight and light heavyweight champion who had his first professional fight when Mchunu was only four years old.
Mchunu won the vacant SA title in only his fourth fight when he stopped the experienced Patrick Madzinga in February 2008 and then made a successful defence against Sean Santana.
In October he won the vacant WBA Pan African title with a stunning stoppage of Marciano Commey from Ghana in 32 seconds of the first round.
Botes won his first South African title on January 15, 1995 with a points win over Xolani Ngemtu in what was the first title fight in the newly created super middleweight division.
He won the SA light heavyweight title in January 1999 when he outpointed Mweli Msomi.
This is an intriguing match with the experience and awkwardness of Botes pitted against the young bull with the big punch.
The clash between southpaws Mashamaite 22-6-1; 12 and Motau 14-2, 12 is between two fighters who started out with a lot of promise at the beginning of their careers but have failed badly in recent fights.
The 26-year-old Mashamaite won the vacant SA super middleweight title in May 2006, stopping Patrick Simelane in three rounds and then lost it to William Gare in his first defence.
However, in May last year he dropped down to the middleweight division and won the vacant South African title on a seventh round technical knockout over Khaphathe Mpambanyeni.
Motau, 27, who represented South Africa at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and the 2004 Olympics made a sensational start to his professional career by winning his first eleven fights inside the distance. This included winning the SA middleweight title with an eleventh round technical knockout over Simon Moekoena and two successful defences against Xolani Ngemtu and Kabelo Ndlovu.
However, in July 2007 in a rather lacklustre performance he was outpointed by Canadian Shawn Garnett.
Soon afterwards he relinquished the SA middleweight title and then in a clash for the super middleweight title vacated by William Gare when he won the WBU belt, he stopped Tshepang Mohale in seven.
However, in his most recent fight on October 10 last year he was blown away in one round by Wilberforce Shihepo of Namibia.
Should Mashamaite win the super middleweight title he shall within 14 days notify Boxing SA which title he wishes to retain.
It’s a tough call but one has to fancy the talented Motau to step up again. If he doesn’t his career could be over.
Samuel Malinga 21-5-2; 12 who lost his SA junior welterweight title to Kaizer Mabuza in October last year hopes to get his career back on track when he meets Jason Naule 12-2; 8 from Namibia.
However, Naule whose only two losses have been to Kaizer Mabuza could take him all the way.