South Africa boxing is possibly at an all-time low because of the Covid-19 virus, and the only fighter to hold one of the major organization championship belts is IBF flyweight champion Moruti Mthalane. Four other fighters hold lesser belts.
The superbly-trained and conditioned IBO cruiserweight champion Kevin Lerena, who is ranked at No 2 by the WBA, No 3 by the IBF and No 5 by the WBC, is the best bet to win one of the major organisation belts.
Our other “world” champions are IBO junior bantamweight champion Gideon Buthelezi and IBO minimumweight champion Nkosinathi Joyi.
The fifth claimant to one of the organisation belts is Ayanda Nkosi, who holds the WBF lightweight belt.
Mthalane (39-2; 26) has a strong claim to being South Africa’s greatest flyweight ever but must be near the end of his career at the age of 38. He has not fought since 23 December, 2019.
Buthelezi, 34, who has a record of 22-5; 5, has been inactive since July 2019, and Joyi (29-5-1; 19), who is 37 years old, cannot have many fights left at the top level.
The fifth claimant to a world title is Ayanda Nkosi (14-1; 8), who is a talented fighter but holds the WBF belt which is not rated highly in world terms. He has been inactive since September last year.
A number of other South African fighters are still ranked by some of the major organisations, with bantamweight Ronald Malindi ranked at No 15 by the WBA.
Featherweight Lerato Dlamini and bantamweight Zolani Tete are listed at No 3 and No 7 by the WBC. Hekkie Budler is at WBC No 2 in the light flyweights despite not having fought since December 2018.
However, despite the downturn in South African boxing, Golden Gloves Promotions are presenting a tournament at Emperors Palace near Kempton Park on 10 October under strict conditions.
There are two other tournaments planned for the YMCA Hall in Orlando East in Soweto and at the Klipspruit Sports Centre in Pimville, Soweto.
–super sport / Ron Jackson