Local boxers score well in 'The Ring' ratings
Six South African boxers feature in the latest The Ring magazine rankings – widely accepted as the closest to genuine world rankings among the assortment of diverse boxing associations.
Thomas Oosthuizen, among the super-middleweights, and flyweight Moruti Mthalane are most prominent of the South Africans in an impressive third position in their respective divisions.
Jeffrey Mathebula and Takalani Ndlovu are ranked fifth and sixth challengers in the junior-featherweight category and Nkosinathi Joyi and Hekkie Budler are in seventh and ninth place among the strawweights.
In addition, Malawian-born Isaac Chilemba, who is now a South African resident, is ranked seventh in the light-heavyweight division.
Mthalane is the International Boxing Federation (IBF) champion and Oosthuizen and Budler hold International Boxing Organisation (IBO) championship belts – although The Ring does not recognise the IBO as one of four legitimate controlling bodies of boxing.
The allegiance of The Ring-rated South African fighters is divided between rival local promoters Rodney Berman's Golden Gloves organisation and Branco Milenkovic's BSP group.
Mthalane, Mathebula, Ndlovu and Joyi have fought most recently in BSP tournaments, while Oosthuizen and Budler are linked to Golden Gloves.
And the rival promoters are looking principally towards Mthalane and Oosthuizen to further enhance their reputations by challenging to become South Africa's only unified world champion.
Oosthuizen will be defending his IBO title on Golden Gloves' Last Man Standing bill at Emperors Palace next month against Colombian veteran Fulgencio Zunig, before returning to the United States for what is hoped will ultimately materialise in a fight with IBF champion Carl Froch.
Not to be undone, Milenkovic and trainer Nick Durandt are also in the process of negotiating fights overseas for Mthalane that could lead to the IBF champion securing a unification bout. – Sapa..