Nqothole wants to make his mark as one of the best yet

Mthatha-born fighter defends his title in Swaziland on Friday

Sikho Nqothole defends his title against Sabelo Ngebiyana on Friday.
Sikho Nqothole defends his title against Sabelo Ngebiyana on Friday.
Image: Supplied

Boxing Mecca caught up with Sikho “Sequence” Nqothole on his way to Swaziland where he will defend his WBA Pan-African junior-bantamweight title against Sabelo Ngebiyana on Friday.

The Mathatha-born boxer who is now based in Johannesburg was excited to speak to us:

BOXING MECCA: Are you already in Swaziland?

SIKHO NQOTHOLE: No I am on my way there travelling by bus with my coach Alan Toweel.

BM: How do you feel about this fight?

SN: Very excited because it will mark the next step in my career. I have been preparing for it for a while now.

BM: When did you hear that you would be fighting Ngebiyana and how well do you know him?

SN: I knew I was going to fight him even before my last bout against Musawenkosi Ndwandwe (Nqothole knocked out Ndwandwe in the first round in September). I know Ngebiyana very well. In fact he is training at Fight Club where I work so I watch him everyday when he trains and spars.

BM: Hang on! Are you saying he is your stablemate?

SN: No he is not. I train with Alan Toweel but I work at the fitness centre called Fight Club where Ngebiyana trains so that is how I am able to watch him. Even when he was preparing to challenge Yanga Sigqibo he was training right in front of my eyes so I know him very well. We were also at the amateur ranks together so you can see that there is nothing about him that I do not know.

BM: Sounds like you already have a decided advantage going to the fight.

SN: I would not say that because I am pretty sure that he also knows me well.

BM: Ngebiyana likes to talk before his fights. Did he say anything to upset you before this one?

SN: Yes he talks too much when he is going to fight other opponents but funny enough he did not say anything bad about me leading to this fight. In fact he was respectful and that took me by surprise.

BM: Sikho, you keep fighting all over the continent and if my memory serves me well you will be fighting in Swaziland for the second time.

SN: Yes you are correct I will be fighting there for the second time. And yes I am fighting all over the country. For instance I won this WBA Pan title in Durban and I have also fought Botswana and of course in East London.

BM: Talking about East London, you have not fought here in a long time. Are you not contracted to Xaba Promotions anymore?

SN: I was never contracted to Xaba Promotions but we had a working relationship. I am not in favour of signing binding contracts with anyone because that can lead to a row.

BM: Who are you fighting for now?

SN: I am fighting for Fox Sport and they are making sure that I get activity all around the continent.

There is no way I will not return without any title and take that to the bank

BM: But you will agree with me that this fight of yours against Ngebiyana belongs in East London.

SN: I fully agree but I go where my promoters say I must go. I know in East London this fight would have drawn a full house but here we are, fighting outside the country. But like I said it is what it is and there is nothing we can do about it.

BM: How confident are you with a win?

SN: Let me put it this way. There is no way that I will not return without my title and you can take that to the bank. This is not to overlook Ngebiyana but I am not about to surrender my unbeaten record.

BM: What will your future plans be if you win on Friday?

SN: I want to fight the top dogs of the division. I want to fight boxers from countries like Mexico because they are very strong and will make me to gauge my development as a boxer.

BM: You are not mentioning the SA title held by your homeboy Athi Dumezweni.

SN: I told you about my situation with Athi but I am prepared to put that aside and fight him if he wants to. (Editors note: Sikho told BM that he did not want to fight Dumezweni because they grew up together and started training boxing under Mthetho Dumezweni in Mthatha so he takes him as a brother).

BM: If you beat Ngebiyana, who is rated first you, will assume the mandatory challenger spot. Are you going to exercise that right and challenge him?

SN: Look, this is business so if I have to fight him I will. In fact we lodged the challenge but his camp said he is taking a different route.

BM: But this fight should be easy to make seeing that he is under Xaba Promotions and you and Xaba used to work together.

SN: Well, it should not be a problem to make because like I said if he is keen I am also keen so we will see what happens. But if we end up fighting, I would love the fight to take place in Mthatha where we both hail from.

BM: I can imagine the interest generated in Mthatha. It would be the first time two boxers from the area fight each other for the national title.

SN: Yes and it would be the first time I also fight there as a professional.