Bandla insists he is happy to take on Kuse

Sibusio Bandla was in sublime form when he dethroned Xolisa Magusha as SA mini-flyweight champion.
FULL ON BATTLE Sibusio Bandla was in sublime form when he dethroned Xolisa Magusha as SA mini-flyweight champion.
Image: SIBONGILE NGALWA

Newly crowned SA mini-flyweight champion Sibusiso Bandla has no problem honouring a mandated title defence against Siyakholwa Kuse.

This was revealed by his promoter, Xaba Promotions (XP), after Bandla’s win over Xolisa Magusha to wrest the title away at the ICC last weekend.

Bandla started to intimidate Magusha at the premedical of the fight when he forcefully took his belt during a photo session.

Magusha relented, refusing to get into a prefight psychological war, but it later proved to work when Bandla nearly stopped the former champion in the second round.

After a tentative start, Magusha suddenly took the fight to Bandla and seemed to be pushing him on to the back foot, when the challenger exploded with a counter left hook that wobbled Magusha and subsequently dumped him to the ropes under a fusillade of punches.

When the action resumed, the bout exploded into a heavy exchange of leather, with Magusha momentarily stunning Bandla.

After that scare, the boxers settled down to a more composed action, with the bout deteriorating into a chess match.

Bandla was able to time his punches thrown on the fly to steal the rounds.

Going into the fight, the winner had been ordered by Boxing SA to face Kuse, who lost a controversial unanimous decision to Magusha in July.

Kuse lodged a protest for the loss and, after reviewing it from television and using independent judges, the regulatory body upheld Kuse’s complaint and ordered a rematch.

However, Magusha had already signed to fight Bandla.

XP boss Ayanda Matiti said his boxer was not legally bound to honour the fight against Kuse.

“But we will take the fight nonetheless because there is nothing scaring us,” he said. Matiti revealed that he was in the process of organising the fight anyway for the title after facilitating Magusha to challenge for the vacant IBO mini-flyweight title.

However, it will be interesting to see who will organise the Bandla vs Kuse fight as Kuse belongs to XP rivals Rumble Africa Promotions (RAP).

By ordering the fight, BSA is now treating Kuse as a mandatory challenger with equal promotions rights with the champ.

The regulatory body did the same in the Ayabonga Sonjica vs Innocent Mantengu SA junior featherweight title clash, forcing Mantengu to defend the title in a RAP tournament although he was the champion at the time.

Mantengu was soundly beaten by Sonjica to surrender the title a day after the Bandla-Magusha fight. — Boxing Mecca

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