South Africa

Ndongeni a thorn in opponents’ sides

2016-11-13 06:02
Xolisani Ndongeni. (Gallo Images)

Johannesburg - Fresh from his impressive win in his maiden appearance in the US, Xolisani “Nomeva” Ndongeni has set his sights on challenging Welshman Terry Flanagan for the World Boxing Organisation (WBO) lightweight title.

But the 27-year-old Ndongeni, who is ranked third by the World Boxing Association (WBA), said he needed a warm-up fight first against number-two contender Indonesian Daud “Cino” Yordan before going for Flanagan.

Ndongeni’s wish to gun for Flanagan’s belt comes after the Duncan Village-born boxer’s flawless performance when he outwitted tough Mexican Juan García Méndez on the way to an unanimous points decision victory in Corona, California, last Saturday.

This was Nomeva’s first time in action outside South Africa, and his US debut was organised by his US backers, Banner Promotions.

Flanagan embarrassed Ndongeni’s former victim Mzonke Fana during a unanimous points win in their WBO title scrap at Ice Arena in Cardiff, Wales, in July.

Fana had suffered a majority decision defeat at the hands of Ndongeni for the vacant WBA Pan African title at Emperors Palace in June last year.

Nomeva, who is unbeaten in 22 fights, said he wanted Flanagan’s championship belt to prove he was worthy of being crowned the WBO kingpin.

“I would like to beat the Indonesian first and be in the queue to challenge Flanagan,” the former International Boxing Organisation champion said.

“My aim is to win the WBO crown first and later challenge for the WBA diadem currently held by Englishman Anthony Crolla.”

He said he was hoping to go back to the US with his local promoter, Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves, to negotiate his next fight.

Nomeva, who is trained by Colin Nathan in Johannesburg, said he was taking a break before going to the Eastern Cape to spend the Christmas holidays with his family.

About last Saturday’s fight against Mendez, Ndongeni said his opponent was tough, but they had planned very well to outsmart the Mexican.

“Seeing that it was our first bout before a US audience, my trainer Colin instructed me to put the Mexican under pressure from the bell and the strategy worked well for us,” he said.

He said it was “nice that the American fans were pleased by my showing”.

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