By Ron Jackson
Former South African and WBC International flyweight champion Nkqubela Gwazela meets Nick Otieno of Kenya in an international bantamweight contest on Friday night at the Orient Theatre in East London. Otieno (19-3, 8 KOs) is known to East London fans as in August this year he lost a close decision to Lubabalo Msuthu when challenging for the World Boxing Foundation bantamweight belt.
The only other losses on Otieno’s record were against Eduardo Garcia in Russia when he lost on points in a match for the IBF International bantamweight title, and then he was also outpointed by the capable Z Gorres from the Philippines.
The 30-year-old Gwazela made his pro debut in August 1999 and won the South African flyweight title on December 6, 2003 when he knocked out Ncedo Cecane in the tenth round.
He made successful defences against Patrick Twala, Lindi Memani and Moruthi Mthalane before being stripped of the title by Boxing SA after testing positive for a banned substance.
Gwazela (18-6; 14) returned to action in June 2005 with a win over Khulile Makeba, but his record has been rather patchy since then with four wins against moderate opposition and four losses.
In his most recent fight in August this year he was stopped by Klaas Mboyane in the eleventh round in a match-up for the vacant SA bantamweight title.
Having fought better opposition and with better boxing skills Otieno should take a comfortable points decision over Gwazela who has been in many hard fights recently.
The tournament is presented by Mzi Mnguni of Eyethu Promotions.