Top International boxing returns to the Nasrec Indoor Arena on Friday, June 30 when Mzonke Fana and Jeffrey Mathebula take to the ring in a Branco Sports Productions “Double Header”. Former WBC International and South African champion Fana, still commands a very respectable number eight rating in the WBC and 11th in the IBF, despite losing his WBC super featherweight world title challenge to the legendary Marco Antonio Barerra in April last year. He will be making his second comeback appearance since that defeat.
Cape Town-based Fana was most impressive on December 9 last year when he comprehensively accounted for the Filipino Junior Sollano by way of a fourth round tko in his home town and showed no psychological scars from the Barerra defeat.
Reigning WBC International featherweight champion Mathebula, was just as impressive when he captured the WBC’s B-grade belt against the tough Ghanaian Osumanu Akaba at the Graceland Casino last year, but has been kicking his heels since then after the unforeseen cancellation of his defence on the “Parade of Champions” bill in March, after his opponent failed a medical exam.
Promoters Branco Milenkovic and Baby Jake Matlala have again tapped into the strong Philippines boxing pool for the Nasrec showdown and will be importing two strong opponents, Aaron Melgarejo and Jack Asis, to pit their skills against the South African pair.
Melgarejo (15 fights, 11 wins, 4 losses) will face the former Olympian Mathebula (19 fights, 16 wins, 2 draws, 1 loss), while Asis (20 fights, 13 wins, 5 losses, 2 draws) will trade leather with the experienced Fana (26 fights, 23 wins, 3 losses).
The two visiting Filipino's have a common string to their bow. They actually fought one another in their home country on November 22 last year, with Asis emerging as the winner on a points decision.
Mathebula and Fana are at contrasting stages of their respective ring careers. Mathebula (WBC # 22) , who makes the first defence of his WBC International belt, is effectively still in the “up and coming” category and is hoping to make significant inroads into the world ratings by the end of the year and even gatecrash the top 10.
For Fana, already a well-established international campaigner, a loss to Asis could effectively signal the end of his career, while victory will undoubtedly open doors to him again on the road to a world title eliminator or another crack at a world title.
Boxing gets underway at 19h30 and the feature bouts will be screened live on SABC Sport’s “Blow by Blow â€“ Uncut “ from 10pm. Ticket prices are R50-00.