Boxing promoter Ayanda Matiti insists he's not threatened by rival event

Promoter of the Year Ayanda Matiti is confident his tournament will attract spectators.
Promoter of the Year Ayanda Matiti is confident his tournament will attract spectators.
Image: Michael Sheehan/Gallo Images

Boxing promoter Ayanda Matiti is unfazed by talk that a tournament he is staging in East London on Saturday night could be overshadowed by a rival’s event to be held in the Eastern Cape city 24 hours earlier.

Matiti is set to host an event dubbed "Battle of Straw weights" that will see domestic champion Xolisa "Gusheshe" Magusha face Sibusiso Bandla‚ while ABU holder Ayanda Ndulani will defend against Loyiso Ngantweni at the ICC Hotel in East London.

But fears that Matiti’s tournament could be eclipsed have swirled overheard after confirmation that a glamorous IBF junior lightweight elimination bout between Azinga "Golden Boy" Fuzile and Russian Shavkhtadzhon Rakhomiv would be staged at Orient Theatre on Friday night.

The winner of the Fuzile vs Rakhomiv eliminator will earn the right to challenge for the IBF belt currently held by American Tevin Farmer.

There were concerns this would take the limelight off Matiti’s jamboree.

Azinga "Golden Boy" Fuzile will take on Russian Shavkhtadzhon Rakhomiv the night before.
Azinga "Golden Boy" Fuzile will take on Russian Shavkhtadzhon Rakhomiv the night before.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

But the man himself stood his ground and insisted that he had faith in the pulling potential of his own event.

"People are buying tickets and it is not the first time we have a tournament a night before the other promoter‚" he said.

“We are doing the battle of the straw weights‚ the fights that people want and they have been talking about it in Duncan Village‚ in Mdantsane and everywhere.

“The marketing is very aggressive."

Matiti has reason to be confident as he produced a WBC International flyweight champion on Friday when Jackson "M3" Chauke dethroned Mekhdi Abdurashedov in Grozny on Friday.

Chauke‚ the SA champion from Tembisa‚ won the fight by 97-94‚ 97-94 and 96-94 scores.

It was his ninth consecutive win since his first loss in 20 fights to Lwandile Sityatha in 2013.

"Our brand prides itself on producing SA‚ continental‚ international and world champions for Africa in general‚ and South Africa in particular‚” Matiti said.

“Jackson won in style in a unanimous points decision against the rising local star.

“Look‚ there were two boxers from Namibia‚ one from Uganda and one from Ghana and they all lost their fights.

“But Chauke lifted Africa's flag higher.

"The fight was fought at a very high pace.

Jackson Chauke dethroned Mekhdi Abdurashedov in Grozny on Friday.
Jackson Chauke dethroned Mekhdi Abdurashedov in Grozny on Friday.
Image: Cancan Chu/Getty Images

“The dethroned champion is only 21-years-old but he showed bravery after coming back when we thought Chauke's body shots had literally killed him.

“An average boxer would have quit after five rounds.

"Jackson took the boy down the trenches and they both came back‚ but the defending champion came second.

“I still maintain that Mekhdi can beat any flyweight I know of."

Matiti said the previously undefeated boxer kept coming back like a recharged battery.

"That fight can easily be a fight of the year in South Africa and our gratitude goes to Damien Durandt who is our ally in producing champions as a brand‚" he said.

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