East London - Eastern Cape boxing fans will enjoy an early Christmas bonanza on Friday night when two local boxers battle for the South African junior lightweight title at the Orient Theatre in East London.
The clash will involve champion Aphiwe Baby Face Mboyiya, who will put his crown on the line against Phila Mpontshane in what promises to be another enticing instalment in the storied Duncan Village-Mdantsane rivalry.
The encounter, staged by Xaba Promotions and Events, follows a thrilling South African featherweight title contest between Macbute Sinyabi (Mdantsane) and Azinga Fuzile (Duncan Village) at the same venue in September.
The Mboyiya-Mpontshane showdown will be the supporting bout of the International Boxing Federation (IBF) intercontinental junior bantamweight championship fight between champion Makazole The Professor Tete and Filipino challenger Jonas Sultan.
The clash between the East London pugilists threatens to upstage the main bout, with diehard boxing fans convinced of the pedigree of the bitter rivals.
Baby Face (24) beat Jasper Seroka on points at the Orient Theatre in June to win the crown, putting on a great display of his remarkable punching power on the night.
In July, he outlasted Filipino Jerry Castroverde to be crowned the IBF youth title-holder at the same venue.
Now he will get the chance to thrill his fans once more with a successful national title defence against Mpontshane (23), who trains at the famous Eyethu Boxing Club, owned by ailing trainer Mzimasi Mnguni.
“This fight means a lot to me because I will be representing Duncan Village against a man from Mdantsane with a huge fan base,” said Mboyiya.
He said he was looking forward to winning by knockout.
But Mpontshane is also confident of giving a good account of himself.
“I badly want to win a title for my stable because it has been a while since we produced one,” said Mpontshane.
He said he respected the champion as a boxer, but was convinced that he would end the fight inside the distance.
“I’ve studied Baby Face’s last two fights. I will cause an upset by dropping him.”
Tete will be making the first defence of the title he won by beating Raymond Tabugon of the Philippines via a seventh-round technical knockout at the Orient Theatre in July.
Sultan boasts a record of 11 wins and three defeats, while Tete has 15 wins, one loss and two draws to his name.
The rest of the bill:
Gideon Buthelezi vs Doctor Ntsele (bantamweight, eight rounds); Sinethemba Bam vs Pfariseni Khorombi (featherweight, six rounds); Yanga Sigqibo vs Xola Sifama (flyweight, six rounds); Siphiwe Lusizi vs Jimmy Mabhudi (middleweight, six rounds); Bangile Nyangani vs Mziyanda Links (miniflyweight, six rounds); Nozwelethu Mathontsi vs Nthabiseng Didi (junior flyweight, six rounds).