Mabuza ready to grind down 'rock-like' Marchiano

Argentina’s Damian Marchiano is reputed to be one of the toughest bantamweights around. And come May 31 at Emperors Palace, fans will learn just how tough when he challenges Silence Mabuza for the latter’s IBO bantamweight title.

Not that the diminutive Mabuza is too worried about his latest challenger, having had his eyes firmly set on a unification bout later this year.

“Marchiano is as tough as nails, they all say so, even hard-bitten critics in the United States, and he’s sure to provide Silence with a real test,” said Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman Tuesday.
“But if Mabuza is to live up to his reputation as a future superstar, guys like Marchiano are merely stepping stones to a big-money fight with one of the other sanctioning organisation’s champions.

“No, I doubt whether even Marchiano’s almost rock-like qualities will be enough to save him when he walks into the blizzard of the leather-encased bullets Mabuza fires so expertly.”

Mabuza, who has held the IBO title on two different occasions, is reportedly chomping at the bit ahead of what will be his second world championship contest this year. Also featured on the bill on May 31 is former three-time world champion Hawk Makepula, who will be looking to win the vacant IBO junior bantamweight strap when he faces another former IBO titleholder, Zolile Mbityi of the Eastern Cape.

“It promises to be an absorbing battle, and remembering that both fighters originally hailed from East London makes the contest all the more alluring,” said Berman.

Also tossing leather on the night is South African heavyweight king Osborne Machimana, who, after demolishing former two-time world heavyweight champion Corrie Sanders, is pencilled in to challenge All-African heavyweight titleholder Joseph Chingangu on June 21 in Zambia.

“Naturally Machimana will first need to emerge victorious on our May 31 bill to make the bout against Chingangu a reality, but he’ll do just that when he takes on Cape Town’s powerful-hitting Mayan Solomons,” added Berman.

Arguably the most talked about bout on the bill is the South African light-heavyweight title shoot-out between reigning champion Daniel Bruwer and erstwhile national middleweight boss Anthony van Niekerk.

“It’s a question of the experienced, albeit reborn veteran pugilist [Van Niekerk] against the relentless and youthful young lion [Bruwer], whose stocks have soared over the past nine months,” said matchmaker Ruben Rasodi.

Other boxers who are likely to occupy a place on the May 31 bill include Jared Lovett and possibly Grant Fourie.

Ticket Prices: R90, R190 and R290—Sapa

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