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Boxing In South Africa: Two IBF Title Fights Tonight In Brakpan

Big show tonight at Carnival City in Brakpan as the much awaited rematch between super feathers Mzonke Fana and Cassius Baloyi headlines with a red hot clash at flyweight between Moruti Mthalane and Zolane Tete as chief support; both contests are for IBF titles.

Fana, 29-4 (12), and Baloyi, 37-4-1 (19), first went at in 2008 with Fana losing his IBF super feather crown via majority decision after 12 very tough rounds.

Baloyi's reign only lasted over one defense however, as he was halted by Malcolm Klassen last year. Both Fana and Baloyi won IBF title eliminators last year with Fana finishing off Jasper Seroka in six and Baloyi outpointing Roberto David Arrieta.

Tonight's contest is particularly important for both combatants as obviously the winner will walk off with the vacant IBF crown but as Fana is soon to be 37 and Baloyi nearing 36, the loser will likely not get another world title opportunity.

It's been about a year, give or take a few months in each case, that the South Africans have been in the ring and the early rounds could be sloppy until someone finds their rhythm.

Baloyi is the taller, longer armed fighter and he needs to keep the combination throwing Fana on the outside for the earlier sessions, building up a points lead going into the inevitable later round slugfest that should ensue once the rivals begin to tire.

Look for another hard to score battle over 12 rounds with the winner likely being the man who can marshall the energy reserves to sweep the final frames.

IBF flyweight ruler Mthalane, 25-2 (16), will make the first defense of the title he won in November by posting a UD over Julio Cesar Miranda, facing the challenge of unbeaten prospect Zolani Tete, 13-0 (11).

Hard punching southpaw Tete won an IBF eliminator by a wide points margin over Richard Garcia in February but he'll be taking a big step up in class against Mthalane, who has only lost to current top super feather in the world Nonito Donaire, during a failed IBF flyweight title bid, over the last five years.

The fight of the night could be an IBF super bantam title eliminator between Jeffrey Mathebula, 23-2-2 (13), and Takalani Ndlovu, 30-6 (18).

The towering Mathebula is one bout removed from his controversial split decision loss to WBA and IBF champion Celestino Caballero in April of last year while ex-IBO beltholder Ndlovu has lost two tough IBF title clashes with Steve Molitor over the past three years.

Ndlovu has beaten the better fighters over the course of his career but Mathebula's showing against Caballero, the top man in the division at the time, effectively trumps his opponent's resume but the real difference in this bout could be Mathebula's hometown advantage.

About Wellington Amadulu

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