Feature Story

Nongqayi set to defend IBF belt

By Ron Jackson

South Africa’s Simphiwe Nongqayi makes the first defence of his IBF super flyweight belt against Malik Bouziane (13-1, 1 KO) of France on Friday night in Massy, France. The 38-year-old Nongqayi (17-0, 6 KOs) caused a major upset when he won the vacant belt in Mexico with a points decision over local hero Jorge Arce in September last year.

Bouzianne, who will be fighting in his hometown, won the French bantamweight title in October 2007 with a ten round points decision over John Bikai and made a successful defence against Jean-Marie Codet before capturing the WBC Mediterranean bantamweight title with a 12 round points decision over Jorge Perez.

He lost the French title to Mohamed Bouleghcha before going on to win the European bantamweight title in March last year when he outpointed England’s Ian Napa and made successful defences against Carmelo Ballone and Emiliano Salvini.

Nongqayi an outstanding amateur who represented South Africa at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpar won the vacant World Boxing Foundation junior bantamweight belt in December 2006 when he stopped fellow South African Khulile Makeba in the eighth round.

He made successful defences of the belt against Rafael Tirado, Dario Azuaga Ledezma, and Julio Ler before relinquishing it to meet Francisco Arce in an IBF super flyweight title eliminator.

After outscoring Arce over 12 rounds he went on to capture the vacant belt when he beat Arce’s older brother Jorge.

Bouzianne, 32, who has only scored only one inside the distance win and that was in his first professional fight against Omar Oubaali, is a skilful boxer who should take the champion to a close points decision.

Also on Friday night in Ljubljana, Slovenia, IBF welterweight champion Jan Zaveck 28-1; 16 who won the belt when he stopped South Africa’s Isaac Hlatshwayo in December last year, makes his first defence of the belt against Rodolfo Ezequiel Martinez 36-3-1; 13 from Argentina.

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