By Ron Jackson
Tsiko Mulovhedsi makes the first defense of his South African welterweight title when he meets Kyle Smith at the Nasrec Indoor Arena near Johannesburg on Sunday afternoon. The 25-year-old Mulovhedsi (5-7-3, 2 KOs) made his pro debut in July 2005 with a first round stoppage win over Andre Bailey, but only won two of his next ten fights up to October 2009.
In September 2010 he fought to a draw with former SA lightweight champion Amon Baloyi and in November of the same year won on a fourth round stoppage over Sicelo Mzobe. After fighting to ten round draw against Msizi Qwabe in Durban in November 2011 he outpointed Boitshepo Mandawe in a clash for the vacant SA title on August 3 this year. The title became vacant in September 2011 when Chris van Heerden relinquished it after winning the IBO welterweight belt.
Smith who is ranked at number four in the most recent Boxing SA ratings has a reported record of 6 wins with 4 inside the distance and one loss. Smith made his pro debut in September 2008 with a first knockout win over Victor Hlungwane and then won his next two fights before losing on a second round technical knockout against Mbuso Ndlela. Since this loss he has beaten Jeremiah Joshua on two occasions and stopped David Mazinyane in two rounds. Smith has never been beyond four rounds in his career and could be at a disadvantage against the awkward champion who has been in two ten rounders and a twelve rounder.
In the main supporting bout between two former world champions and senior citizens of boxing Cassius Baloyi and Malcolm Klassen meet in a return match over eight rounds.
Baloyi (37-7-1, 19 KOs) who has won six versions of a “world” title in an 18 year career will be 38 on November 5.
Klassen, 31, with a record of 25-5-2, 15 KOs, has won three versions of a “world” title since making his pro debut in May 22; 1999
In their first fight on April 18, 2009 in Mahikeng, Klassen smashed Baloyi to defeat in seven rounds to win the IBF junior lightweight belt. This is the only time that Baloyi has lost inside the distance in his distinguished career. Both fighters are well past their best but one must favour the younger Klassen.
Junior middleweight: Bongani Mlotswa v Sylvester Zaki (six rounds); junior lightweight: Joey Stiglingh v Nkosinathi Ntsangase (six rounds); junior welterweight: Jules Batala v Keith Nkosi (six rounds); middleweight: Walter Dlamini v Christo Smith (four rounds); welterweight: Evans Rekhotso v Vusi Bilankulu (four rounds).
The tournament is presented by Pat Molefe of Rainbow Promotions.