Home / Boxing Previews / Boxing In South Africa: IBF Champ Molitor Facing Ndlovu For Third Time

Boxing In South Africa: IBF Champ Molitor Facing Ndlovu For Third Time

The latest installment of Steve Molitor vs. Takalani Ndlovu for the IBF title takes place tonight but on this occasion the super bantams will clash for the first time in Ndlovu's homeland of South Africa, headlining a card at Nasrec Indoor Arena in Johannesburg.

The pair's two previous bouts took place at Molitor's stomping grounds in Ontario with the Canadian southpaw stopping his arch-rival in the ninth frame in 2007 but their second engagement almost exactly a year ago saw Ndlovu go the distance and press Molitor hard, losing a unanimous decision.

Since that time, Molitor had a difficult IBF defense in England against British and Commonwealth king Jason Booth while Ndlovu won perhaps the biggest fight of his career, an IBF eliminator by split decision over top domestic rival Jeffrey Mathebula.

Molitor and Ndlovu certainly are familiar with the style of each other by this point and it will be interesting to see if the change in venue affects the outcome in any way.

With the home advantage, Ndlovu's approach is likely to try and outwork the champion as he had in the previous two contests but he'll have to guard against the strong body punching of Molitor.

Molitor needs to take it out of the judge's hands and step up his activity level, stopping Ndlovu in the first half of the bout before the contest can become a grueling 12 round affair that goes to the scorecards.

Can Ndlovu turn things around this time against Molitor? If so, he'll need to give Molitor no breathing room whatsoever, as did Celestino Caballero in his masterful dismantling of the Canadian in 2008, and put the champion through a very hot pace.

Chief support on the Johannesburg bill is provided by an IBF flyweight title scrap between reigning champion Moruti Mthalane, 26-2 (17), and former Interim WBO light fly beltholder Johnriel Casimero, 14-1 (8).

Over the last six years, Mthalane has only come up short against Nonito Donaire, getting stopped in the sixth in a 2008 IBF/IBO flyweight title scrap, and the local hero is likely to keep his world title against the less experienced Casimero, although the much younger Filipino challenger is certainly a threat.

Hard-punching South African lightweight champ Patrick Malinga, 27-6-2 (24), puts his 12 bout win streak on the line in a defense against Thompson Mokwana, 11-4 (6).

Mokwana has a much briefer resume than Malinga but three of his four losses were by very close margins to far more experienced fighters. Only the points wipeout at the hands of Emmanuel Tagoe last year for the vacant WBO African super feather strap saw Mokwana comprehensively defeated but Malinga has finished off his last 11 opponents inside the distance and it remains to be seen if the durable Mokwana can avoid a similar fate.

About Wellington Amadulu

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