South African Roundup!

By Ron Jackson

The finals of the Baby Champs are to be held at Sammy Marks Square in Pretoria on Friday with every division from strawweight to heavyweight being contested. Boxers took part in a series of elimination bouts in various regions around the country to qualify. Two favourites in the super middleweight division are Giovanni Bushby of East London a former kick boxer and Charles Oosthuizen from Boksburg. The Eastern Cape contingents are confident that fighters like Wele Yokose, Thabo Sonjica, Lusanda Komanisi and Xabiso Gola could be among the championship winners.
It has been announced that promoter Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves Promotions, Stan Christodoulou and Brian Mitchell have formed a tripartite agreement for the purpose of re-establishing the World Boxing Association as a force in South African boxing.
Golden Gloves Promotions in conjunction with two other promoters have there first tournament of 2009 on February 14 in San Quentin, France, when Phillip Ndou makes his return to the ring after an absence of three years, as a junior welterweight against an opponent still to be named. This will be on the undercard when Christobal Cruz of Mexico defends his IBF featherweight belt against Cyril Thomas.
Another Golden Gloves fighter Thomas Mashaba challenges Fernando Beltran of Mexico for the IBO featherweight belt on March 20 in the US on a Banner Promotions tournament. Golden Gloves have an affiliation with Art Pellulo of Banner Promotions.
Then on March 21 Golden Gloves have there first promotion of the year in South Africa when Zolani Marali will challenge for the vacant IBO junior lightweight belt against an opponent still to be named, at Emperors Palace in Kempton Park. On the same card Hekkie Budler and Charity Mukondeleli meet for the vacant African Boxing Union junior flyweight title.
Meanwhile the 35-year-old former IBF junior lightweight champion Mzonke Fana could have another crack at the IBF junior lightweight belt. Fana who won the IBF belt when he beat Malcolm Klassen and then lost the belt to Cassius Baloyi could possibly meet the winner of the scheduled April clash between Klassen and Baloyi. However, Fana who is rated at number four by the IBF could possibly be asked to fight in an eliminator to meet the winner between Klassen and Baloyi.
Kaizer Mabuza is scheduled to make the first defence of his  SA junior welterweight title against Mzukisi Mgidi in East London on January 23. Mabuza won the title when he upset Samuel Malinga in Bloemfontein in October last year. Mgidi from East London has a reported record of 18-1-2.

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