By Ron Jackson
Two Gauteng titles will be at stake in a tournament to be held at Emperors Palace near Kempton Park, east of Johannesburg, on Monday night. In the main bout, Sylvester Zaki and Dwayne Combrink will fight over ten rounds for the vacant middleweight title. And Koos Sibiya is set to defend his provincial junior lightweight title against Ashley Dlamini. The box-and-dine tournament, presented by Jeff Ellis of African Ring, in conjunction with Golden Gloves Promotions, starts at 7.30pm (SA, CAT, GMT+2).
Zaki and Combrink are fighting in a rematch. Zaki won on points over six rounds when they met in April this year. It was the first defeat for Combrink, who turned professional in June last year. He now has a professional record of 6-1, with 4 wins inside the distance.
Combrink had won four of his previous six fights inside the distance, including victories over the more experienced Theophilus Mpakane and Elvis Ndlovu.
Fighting at super-middleweight, Zaki made his professional debut on November 27 2009 when he beat Soloman Letsalo on points over four rounds. He then dropped to middleweight and has won five of his last seven fights. His record now stands at 9-5, with 4 knockouts.
Zaki is on the short side but has looked sharp in the lighter division. He likes to fight off the front foot and maintains a good work rate. He is expected to make life difficult for Combrink over the longer distance.
The 32-year-old Sibiya has a record of 15-8, with three draws and only one stoppage win. Dlamini, 29, stands at 14-2, with eight wins inside the distance.
Sibiya won the title in March this year when he beat Nkosinathi Ntshangase on a majority decision over ten rounds.
The stocky boxing Dlamini has been a professional since July 2008 when he beat Vuyani Dosi on points over four rounds. The bout against Sibiya will be his 14th at Emperors Palace, where he has become a house favourite.
Sibiya has been a professional for 13 years and is a capable fighter, as he showed when he beat Grant Fourie.
His defeats inside the distance were against Mbulelo Transvaal, Jeffrey Mathebula and Zolani Marali, whom he challenged for the SA junior featherweight title. Mathebula and Marali both went on to win “world” titles.
In the opening bout, Kathiso Hlahane and Thembani Hoboyane meet over four rounds at the featherweight limit.
Junior middleweights Tyrone Koen and Kutlwano Gare are also set to fight over four rounds. Kutlwano is the son of former WBU super-middleweight champion William Gare.
In a junior welterweight bout Adam de Moor and Justice Ndlovu meet over six rounds. And junior welterweight Grant Fourie, with a record of 13-4; 8, takes on Jules Batale from the Democratic Republic of Congo in a six-rounder.