‘Thulani, come and take me on’

Mziwoxolo Ndwayana celebrates his SA welterweight title victory with his new trainer Lunga Sikonyela after beating Sean Ness.
Mziwoxolo Ndwayana celebrates his SA welterweight title victory with his new trainer Lunga Sikonyela after beating Sean Ness.
Image: Supplied

The camp of newly-crowned SA welterweight champion Mziwoxolo Ndwayana is calling out IBO champion Thulani Mbenge for a rematch.

Ndwayana made history last weekend when he became the first ever boxer from Grahamstown to win a national title by beating Sean Ness by an eighth-round stoppage.

The win came after he returned home and joined Lunga Sekonyela in Mdantsane.

He had previously left the province to join Sean Smith in Johannesburg.

He had two fights under Smith, beating prospect Uyanda Nogogo and then stopped Ntuthuko Memela to earn the title shot.

Having previously lost title challenges to Mbenge and Tsiko Mulovhedzi, he was determined to make it a third time lucky against Ness.

Sikonyela, who has a wealth of experience, having trained several top boxers at Eyethu Boxing Club before breaking away to form his own gymnasium, Heavy-Duty Boxing Development, is predicting big things for the chisel bodied boxer.

“He is such a disciplined boxer and he is willing to listen,” he said.

“We only prepared for this fight for three weeks but because he took care of himself we were able to come up with a winning fight strategy.”

Sikonyela, who also takes care of the management of the boxer, says Ndwayana will even be better in his next fight as he will have spent more time with him.

“There are things we are working on and these will be visible in our next fight.”

Commenting about Mbenge, Sekonyela says he would not mind if the rematch could be organised urgently.

Ndwayana was the only local boxer to take Mbenge to a distance when he displayed a gallant performance in his losing effort.

This when he picked himself off the canvas and on the brink of defeat in the first round to suck it up and fought back courageously.

After the fight Mbenge went on to win the IBO world title and automatically vacated the national crown leaving Ndwayana and Ness to contest for it.

“Obviously we want Mbenge to avenge that loss,” said Sekonyela.

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