Matiti firm set to rule the roost

Xaba Promotions kings of bantamweight division

Sikho Nqothole, left, beat Sabelo Ngebiyana to win the SA junior-bantamweight title at the Orient Theatre on Sunday. The win meant Ngebiyana brings another bantamweight title to Xaba Promotions.
Sikho Nqothole, left, beat Sabelo Ngebiyana to win the SA junior-bantamweight title at the Orient Theatre on Sunday. The win meant Ngebiyana brings another bantamweight title to Xaba Promotions.
Image: Mark Andrews

Rarely is a promoter able to control one division like Xaba Promotions (XP) is controlling the junior-bantamweight weight class.

The top promotional company already owns a world champion in the junior-bantamweight division in IBO champion Gideon Buthelezi but are now on the verge of producing two more.

Yanga Sigqibo, who is rated sixth by the IBF, is on the verge of challenging for the title while Athi Dumezweni is also eyeing a world title shot.

Dumezweni will face Filipino Jonas Sultan on April 28 with a win expected to take him within reach of a world title shot.

To cap an incredible achievement for XP, Sabelo Ngebiyana won the vacant SA crown and newly-formed Legends Boxing Foundation (LGB) international title with a six rounds stoppage of Sikho Nqothole at Orient Theatre last weekend.

By winning the LGB international title, Ngebiyana has boosted his chances of fighting for the fully-fledged world title of the new body.

However, if Ngebiyana had his way, he would challenge promotional stablemate Buthelezi for the IBO crown.

And XP is not against the idea of giving in to Ngebiyana’s wishes.

“I must be honest, I had not thought about Ngebiyana and Buthelezi until Ngebiyana publicly challenged him,” said XP boss Ayanda Matiti.

“I have never stood in the way of a boxer’s wishes so if Ngebiyana wants the fight and Buthelezi is keen why not?”

Buthelezi flew down to East London to be ringside to Ngebiyana-Nqothole, fuelling perception that a fight against the winner was on the horizon.

While XP want the boxers to go different routes and bring back glory to the country, local derbies are also not out of the question.

“At XP local derbies have always been part of our tournaments.”

Meanwhile, XP have insisted that their star boxer, Uyanda Nogogo, will continue with his boxing career despite a demoralising defeat by veteran Ali Funeka last weekend.

Nogogo was stopped in the sixth round of an action- packed fight in which he held his own in the early rounds.

XP denied allegations by Funeka that Nogogo was used as a pawn to fight their own differences with the veteran boxer.

“If you look at our fights this year you will see that we have been pitting youngsters against veteran boxers,” XP said.

“Firstly it was Ntlantla Tyirha versus Bongani Silila, then Funeka versus Nogogo and on April 28 it will be Nkosinathi Joyi vs Tyirha so to suggest that we used Nogogo as a pawn does not even deserve a reply.”

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