Without a title and without an opponent.
That’s how Xolisani “Nomeva” Ndongeni stands after relinquishing his IBO lightweight belt and, more recently, Ismael Barroso running out on their November 4 bout.
The unbeaten SA fighter met with promoter Rodney Berman last week and they thrashed out the pros and cons of fighting in America as IBO champion.
Berman was frank with him, saying “unless you fight a big-name American, [an IBO title fight] is meaningless in the US.”
Ndongeni won the vacant belt against Jasper Seroka, but never defended the belt, his last fight a low-key non-title affair at home.
Berman insists that Ndongeni’s future lies in America, saying that he already has a list of ready replacements after Barroso’s sudden withdrawal.
What’s more, Ndongeni has been guaranteed a place on WBO junior-middleweight champion Demetrius Andrade’s Showtime fight card in February.