The long awaited “All or Nothing” card featuring the 4@War junior middleweight tournament finals and third place bout, as well as top prospects Ricardo Malajika and Jabulani Makhense is provisionally set to take place over two evenings in September at Emperor’s Palace with only the fighters, their corners and other essential personnel present, pending approval from Boxing South Africa.
Fans need not despair, as they will be able to follow the action on Supersport from the safety of their living room.
On Tuesday evening, on the 1st of September, the card will be headlined by 6-0 ABU All Africa champion, Ricardo “Magic Man” Malajika. Originally scheduled to take on Jonas Sultan from the Philippines before COVID-19 put a spanner in the works, he will now take on the 13-2 Sikho Nqothole over ten rounds with the vacant WBA Pan African junior bantamweight title at stake.
Nqothole has the held the same Pan African belt before and is the more experienced of the two, having gone the twelve round distance twice. He has nine knockouts on his ledger and has scored two stoppages in a row, winning the IBO All-Africa title in his last bout against Jemsi Kibazange.
Trainer, Alan Toweel, relishes the opportunity to upset the apple cart. “I think Sikho has got this one, I really believe it. Malajika is quick, he is flashy but the real Sikho has not come out yet. I think it will be an exciting fight between a southpaw and a good orthodox boxer but Sikho has the style to beat him.”
In his last outing, Malajika had to get off the canvass twice to score an eighth-round stoppage over unbeaten Mnqobi Mkhize so he will have something to prove. Trainer Anton Gilmore agrees that it was not their best night. “Ricardo’s legs weren’t working like it should have. I won’t say we underestimated Mkhize, we knew he was undefeated, but his style was unconventional and difficult to deal with. In fact, it was a blessing in disguise because the fight showed us what we still need to work on.”
Will we see an improved Malajika working his magic or will Nqothole announce his arrival as a force to be reckoned with? We will just have to wait and see.
In the main supporting bout, 8-2 Tristan Truter will meet 9-1-1 Roarke Knapp over eight rounds for the third place of the 4@War junior middleweight tournament.
Truter put up an epic fight against Boyd Allen. It was touch and go, but in the end, he lost by TKO in the last round. “It was a bit disappointing,” says trainer, Harold Volbrecht. “I thought that he could have taken advantage of Boyd’s mistakes a bit more. He was still on his feet in the last round, I think they stopped it a bit early.”
Volbrecht is a man with a plan for his charge. “I’m glad the fight is happening now and not later. I think Brandon Thysse is going to beat Boyd Allen in the final and I am hoping that we could get a rematch against Boyd after this one.”
Roarke Knapp was giving Brandon Thysse something to think about in the middle rounds before it all came apart in the seventh. Knapp’s trainer Vusi Mtolo puts that loss down to a lack of focus and is confident that his charge can redeem himself against Truter. “Tristan Truter is a good boxer and his trainer is one of the best. I respect them but Roarke has power. Truter won’t be able to stand and trade with him. He might get on his feet and move away, amateur style, then it may go the distance, but we have a plan for that.”