Mabuza lauded as one of SA's 'classiest boxers'

Silence Mabuza showed why he is considered to be South Africa’s finest pound-for-pound boxer, when he halted a game but outclassed Eden Sonsona in the eighth round of their IBO world bantamweight title bout at Emperors Palace on Saturday night.

The 30-year-old Mabuza, who has had two reigns as the IBO world titleholder, afterwards made it clear he wants nothing more than a title unification bout with Ghana’s current IBF world champion, Joseph Agbeko.

“I never ask for much but I’m asking Rodney [Berman] now, for a shot at the man from Ghana, preferably here in South Africa, in front of my home fans”.

Mabuza’s manager-trainer Nick Durandt feels much the same way.

“Silence has to be kept busy and we want at least another three bouts this year, starting with a unification contest with the big-hitting Agbeko.”

Golden Gloves promoter Berman took heed of Mabuza’s post-fight request and acknowledged the current IBO bantamweight king is a class act.

“No doubt about it, Mabuza is one of the classiest boxers to have graced the stage in this country over the past 25 years and we’ll move heaven and earth to get him a crack at one of the other recognised world champions, preferably the brutal punching Agbeko, who boxed in South Africa in 2000.

“Ideally I’d like to stage that fight at Emperors Palace sometime during the next three months, but we’ll have to see how our negotiations progress over the next few weeks,” Berman said.

Meanwhile, Berman was full of praise for current national heavyweight champion Osborne “Big Daddy” Machimana, who knocked out former two-time world champion Corrie Sanders in the opening round of their 10-round bout.

“Machimana has been a revelation since he joined Nick Durandt, and no one can dispute the fact he is a viable force in the heavyweight division. With his confidence now at an all-time high, the big fellow clearly deserves to be carefully groomed and we’ll soon be fashioning a trip to the US where he’ll enjoy some prominent exposure.

“Osborne really deserves it after his one-round demolition of Sanders,” said Berman.

The CEO of Golden Gloves concluded by saying: “Another really pleasing feature of Saturday night’s event was the continued progress of two of our most vibrant young prospects, Hekkie Budler and Grant Fourie. Yes, both still have much to learn, but they are showing improvement with every bout.” - Sapa

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