Fuzile fired to prove he is no lightweight

Boxing golden boy Azinga Fuzile’s trainer Mzamo Njekanye believes his charge is ready to grab the spotlight when he fights in the Featherweight Super 4 (S4).

Fuzile will face internationally acclaimed Tshifhiwa Munyai in the semifinals of the series, scheduled to be held at Emperors Palace on October 21.

The other semifinal will pit Mdantsane veteran Simpiwe Vetyeka against boxing upstart Lerato Dlamini.

The tournament will also see Deejay Kriel taking on Thembane Okolo of Port Elizabeth in an eight-round mini-flyweight clash.

Okolo replaces Mdantsane hero Nkosinathi Joyi, who declined the fight, citing short notice.

But there is no doubt that the highly anticipated clash will be the one between Fuzile and Munyai.

The Duncan Village star will be fighting for the first time outside his region, and detractors are concerned for him getting overawed by the bright lights of Emperors Palace.

However, the boxer has promised to prove his prowess in the best way he knows how.

“We are ready to introduce ourselves at Emperors Palace,” said the boxer’s trainer, Njekanye.

Njekanye also revealed that Fuzile has completely healed from the injury he suffered in his last bout against Rofhiwa Maemu two months ago.

Fuzile hurt his left hand early in the fight and was subsequently advised by the doctor to lay off training for a couple of weeks.

“The injury has healed now and we are working hard,” said Njekanye.

“Azinga is at that stage where I want him to be when preparing for a fight.”

Fuzile broke into the limelight when he won the SA featherweight title, beating the experienced and fan favourite Macbute Sinyabi in September last year.

This when he had had only five fights as a professional.

Since the win, he has become a sensation, adding the WBC youth title while registering two title defences to take his fight record to eight fights without a loss.

While his talent is undisputed, there are concerns he may have been thrown into the deep end by being pitted against Munyai.

Munyai is a former Commonwealth bantamweight champion, beating credible British boxers including Lee Haskins, who went on to win the IBF title after losing to the Limpopo boxer.

But he has been able to carry that success to the featherweight division, losing to Scott Quigg in a WBA title challenge.

The loss was his fourth in 30 bouts and he has since won all his last four bouts by stoppages, including a victory over homeboy Oscar Chauke.

The 32-year-old will become Fuzile’s best opponent so far, making a win for the Duncan Village fighter a big achievement.

Already fight promoter Rodney Berman has successfully convinced the WBC to recognise the S4 series.

The Golden Gloves boss, who is currently attending the WBC Convention in Baku, Azerbaijan, said the winner of each semi-final will receive a medal from the WBC.

“Each winner of the first two bouts will receive recognition from the WBC with an award of a special WBC medal,” he said.

The winners will face each other for the vacant WBC International featherweight title at Emperors Palace in February.

“This is very gratifying and underscores the strength of the tournament.

“I’m looking forward to a truly great event, a game-changer for SA boxing,” said Berman.

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