Tantalising ingredient added to fare

The Nelson Mandela birthday celebrations tournament scheduled to be held at International Convention Centre on July 28 is shaping up to be the best ever after organisers announced yet another mouthwatering bout.

Fight-starved Lusanda Komanisi will return to action against Limpopo’s Tshifhilwa Munyai in a featherweight bout.

LOUD AND CLEAR: Lusanda Komanisi shouts with joy after winning the IBO world featherweight title fight against Roli Gasca

The bout has been in the works for a while, when Komanisi was still under the Rumble Africa Promotions, but for some reason it failed to materialise even though the boxers themselves itched to get into the ring against each.

As fights dried up, Komanisi began to hop from one camp to the other until he settled at Sean Smith gymnasium in Johannesburg where he has been since April.

There were reports that he would face top-rated Free Stater Thebe Dithebe but with the availability of Munyai he has decided to take on the bigger fight against Munyai.

Xaba Promotions and Events (XPE) which will organise the fight confirmed that Komanisi and Munyai had signed on the dotted line.

“It is a done deal and we are excited about it,” said XPE boss Ayanda Matiti.

“This tournament is shaping up to be the biggest in all the previous Madiba Boxing Celebrations and we are even worried about the venue.”

Indeed the fourth edition of the commemorative event was already bustling with quality bouts including three international ones topped by Gideon Buthelezi defending his IBO junior-bantamweight diadem against Filipino Ryan Rey.

Newly crowned SA junior-featherweight champion Ludumo Lamati will also be in action engaging in his first international bout against Colombian Luis Melendez with the IBF international title at stake.

Fight-starved Mzuvukile Magwaca of Duncan Village but based in Cape Town will take on Nicaraguan Yasner Talavera.

But the addition of Komanisi-Munyai clash has now made the tournament even more intriguing.

“We wanted a local derby and I cannot think of any other than this bout. As you know these two boxers have been gunning for each other for a while and finally they will have a chance to put the money where their mouth is.”

Matiti refused to say if Komanisi had now joined XPE although he hinted that the former IBO featherweight king would be fighting under his wing in future.

Komanisi is still sore for getting stripped of his IBO belt due to inactivity.

This after he signed with US promoter Greg Cohen but never get a chance to showcase his talent in the land of the dollar. But beating Munyai who has world-class credentials after his successful campaign in England, beating among others the recently dethroned IBF bantamweight champion Lee Haskins would breath life to his career.

While Komanisi last tasted action in October 2015 Munyai has been in the ring as early as two months ago when he stopped Namibian Samuel Kapapu within the distance.

Komanisi’s last fight was when he knocked out Filipino Roli Gasca to retain his then IBO title in December 2015 in East London.

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