Takalani could face Mongoose again
A rematch between Jeffrey Mathebula and Takalani Ndlovu could be arranged soon.
Mathebula lost his IBF super-bantamweight title to Nonita Donaire on Saturday night and promoter Branco Milenkovic has already mentioned the possibility of a fight between “The Mongoose” and his fellow South African, Ndlovu, the previous IBF champion.
Mathebula was beaten but far from disgraced, Milenkovic said after the bout in Los Angeles, where the 31-year-old Mathebula lost on points to Donaire, a Filipino who also holds the WBO title and plans to unify all the belts.
Milenkovic said on Sunday Donaire was regarded as one of the best boxers, pound-for-pound, in the world and the fight was "a lot closer than the scorecards suggest".
"This is certainly not the end of the road,” the promoter said.
Ndlovu lost to Mathebula last in March and a rematch could be the next step.
"Both Mathebula and Ndlovu are considered to be among the top ten fighters in the world in their division," said Milenkovic.
"A rematch between the two would seem a logical step and real crowd-puller. The winner could try to regain the super-bantamweight belt for South Africa."
But Donaire intends to go after the WBA and WBC titles held by Cuba’s Guillermo Rigondeaux and Abner Mares to try to win all super bantamweight belts.
Milenkovic complimented Mathebula for taking on Donaire, although some critics said he was taking on more than he could chew.
"If you have ambitions to be the best," said Milenkovic, "you have to beat the best. Jeffrey proved his mettle by earning whole-hearted praise from Donaire for using his height and speed to good advantage and making it a difficult fight."
Mathebula earned a purse that would have been out of reach in South Africa.