South African middleweight champion Nkululeko “The Bulldog” Mhlongo meets the No 3 contender for SA middleweight title, John “Section 29” Bopape, in a ten-round non-title fight on Saturday in Durban.
Even though Bopape (8-7; 8) is listed at No 3 in the most recent ratings, he does not qualify to challenge for the title in terms of South Boxing Act, as he has not had three fights in the division.
With so few South African title fights at present, and the limited number of fighters ranked in the heavier divisions, it is about time this rule is amended.
Mhlongo (22-8-1; 17), who has been fighting as a pro since March 2004, has been inactive since October 2019, and, in an up and down career, has only won three of his last eight fights.
Bopape, from Alexandra, has also had an up and down career, winning only four of his last eight fights.
The tournament will have no fans in attendance due to the Covid-19 restrictions.
THABISO MCHUNU TO FACE EVGENY TISHCHENCO IN A WBC ELIMINATOR
It has been reported that South Africa’s Thabiso “The Rock” Mchunu (22-5; 13) will meet Evgeny Tishchenko (8-0; 6) from Russia in a WBC cruiserweight final eliminator at the RRC Boxing Academy in Ekateringburg, Russia on 27 March.
The 32-year-old Mchunu is more experienced than the 29-year-old Russian in this all-southpaw clash, but Tishchenko has participated in the competitive European amateur boxing scene and has won gold medals at the Olympics, World, and European championships, and could test Mchunu.