By Ron Jackson
Oscar Chauke and Takalani Ndlovu are scheduled to meet for the vacant World Boxing Foundation featherweight belt on March 20 at the Graceland Casino in Secunda. The title became vacant after the tragic death of the champion Ludumo Galada in January this year. Howard Goldberg the local representative of the WBF advised that the original opponent for Ndlovu, Jackson Asiku of Uganda had been withdrawn as he could not agree on terms with the promoters, World Sports Promotions.
The 28-year-old Chauke 24-4-2; 7 who is a former South African junior featherweight champion and the current WBF junior featherweight champion will have to relinquish his WBF belt.
Chauke who made his pro debut in November 1999 won the vacant National title in August 2006 when he stopped Mzikayise Mchasi in the tenth round.
He then made successful defences against Takatso Hlahane, Sprinkaan Khongoane and Luyanda Mrawuli before relinquishing the title after he defeated Wonga Mhlana for the vacant WBF junior featherweight belt in November 2007.
He retained the WBF belt in March last year when he outpointed Sergio Santillan of Argentina.
Ndlovu 28-5; 18 a former South African featherweight and IBO junior featherweight champion is far more experienced and has fought at a higher level than Chauke.
The 31-year-old Ndlovu who will go into the fight as the favourite will be hoping to get his career back on track after losing two of his last three fights.
In July 2007 he was stopped in the ninth round by Steve Molitor when challenging for the IBF junior featherweight belt and in February 2008 he scored a fourth stoppage win over Raymond Sermona before losing on points to Fernando Beltran Jr. of Mexico in a clash for the vacant IBO featherweight belt in August last year.
Meanwhile Vusi Malinga, 29, hopes to become the third South African to win a WBC belt when he challenges the 28-year-old Hozumi Hasegawa 25-2; 9 for the WBC belt at the World Memorial Hall in Kobe, Japan, on March 12.
Hasegawa will be making his eighth defence and the odds will be heavily stacked against the South African.