By Ron Jackson
Thabo Sonjica will be having his third crack at winning the South African junior featherweight title against the same man when he faces champion Macbute Sinyabi at the Orient Theatre in East London on Sunday afternoon.
Sonjica from Duncan Village who has a record of 16-2 with 12 wins inside the distance since making his professional debut in June 2007 was stopped at 2 minutes 58 seconds into the first round in his first fight with Sinyabi in April 2011 and seven months later was once again stopped inside this distance, but this time he managed to go five rounds.
However, since his loss to Sinyabi the challenger has scored two inside the distance wins against Pfariso Neluvhulani (tko 4) in June 2012 and former IBF junior bantamweight champion Simphiwe Nongqayi (tko 3) in December of the same year.
The 26-year-old Sinyabi (20-2, 18 KOs) originally from Mdantsane but now fighting out of the Nick Durandt gym in Johannesburg has had three fights since his last victory over Sonjica.
He was stopped in the tenth round by Thangthong Kiattaweesuk in Bangkok in an IBF junior featherweight title eliminator and then scored wins over Oscar Chauke and Pfariso Neluvhalani in defence of his South African title, with both fights going the distance.
Sonjica who fights from southpaw stance is trained by Dokes Segonyela in the Eyethu Boxing Gym in Mdantsane only has a punchers chance against the champion who will be making the tenth defence of his title.
The tournament is presented by Mzi Mnguni of Eyethu Boxing Promotions.
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There will also be four South African titles at stake on Saturday:
Toto Helebe (10-3, 7 KOs) makes the first defence of his title against faces former champion Klaas Mboyane (14-9-2, 7 KOs) in Kraaifontein near Cape Town.
On the same card South African junior welterweight champion Mzolisi Yoyo (19-4, 14 KOs) defends his title for the fourth time when he meets number three ranked Thapelo Potwana.
At Fort Hare in the Eastern Cape South African super middleweight champion Balimo Weliya (10-4, 5 KOs) makes the first defence of his title when faces Charles Oosthuizen (5-0, 2 KOs) who is ranked at number four.
In the co-feature Nkululeko Mhlongo (10-3, 7 KOs) also makes the first defence of his South African junior middleweight title when he meets the fourth rated Yanga Phetani (6-0-1, 2 KOs).