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Boxing | South Africa

Thabiso Mchunu © Gallo Images

Mchunu to fight Chambers in US



Thabiso Mchunu will fight American veteran Eddie Chambers in New York on August 3.

Mchunu, who won the Super Eight cruiserweight tournament at Emperors Palace near Johannesburg last year, is scheduled to make his international debut on the undercard of a top-class televised tournament.

Showpony Promotions CEO Damian Michael said on Monday Mchunu's exploits had been noted with considerable interest in the United States.

"Thabiso is already ranked eighth by the WBC and ninth by the IBO," said Michael. "He has emerged as possibly the biggest drawcard in SA boxing because of his punching power.

"He is well equipped to go on to bigger things.”

The 31-year-old Chambers, who has a professional record of 36 victories from 39 bouts, was regarded as a potential champion after 35 victories in his first 36 fights. He was given a fight against Wladimir Klitschko, who knocked him out late in the twelfth round.

Since then Chambers has had only two fights in two years, winning one and losing the other.

Michael believes the American will be an ideal opponent for Mchunu. Victory over an opponent with Chambers's reputation would enhance the South African's drawing power.

"Chambers has agreed to meet Mchunu at the cruiserweight limit," Michael said.

Michael has also negotiated a title fight for IBO welterweight champion, Chris van Heerden, who will meet Ashley Theophane, a Briton. The fight will take place in either England or America. The date also has to be finalised.

"Theophane is a big drawcard in England but he has joined the Floyd Mayweather stable in America. That is why we might take the fight there," said Michael.

Van Heerden will accompany Mchunu to New York, where he will participate in an intensive training programme.

SA WOMEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT

It has also been announced that Noni Tenge, one of South Africa’s leading female fighters, will return to the ring in June after her failed attempt to win the WBA junior-middleweight title last September.

Tenge, who was stopped in the eighth round by American veteran Layla McCarter, will face Silvia Fernanda Zacarias from Argentina in a WBA international welterweight title bout at the Orient Theatre in East London on June 2.

Tenge is rated No 2 by the WBA in the junior middleweight division and has a professional record of 11 wins (nine knockouts), a draw and a loss. Zacarias stands at eight wins (one knockout), five draws and 12 losses.

On the same bill, Unathi Myekeni will face Simone da Silva from Brazil in a WBA international bout. Myekeni has not fought since she drew with Nigeria-born Helen Joseph in Brakpan in March last year.

“These fights will give our female boxers a chance to show their talent against South American opponents," tournament promoter Andile Sidinile said on Monday. "Both could fight for a WBA title if they win.”

Rated ninth by the WBA, Myekeni has won eight fights, three inside the distance, and drawn one. Da Silva has 11 victories (four knockouts) and four defeats.

Tenge is a former WBF and IBF welterweight champion and Myekeni is the reigning WBF junior featherweight champion.



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