Damned by bad luck for much of his career, the wheel might finally have turned for Xolisani “Nomeva” Ndongeni.
On August 11 he will travel to Ghana to face highly regarded Emmanuel Tagoe (37-1) for the IBO lightweight title.
It’s a big step up for Ndongeni given that Tagoe will be fighting at home and has beaten a couple of reputable fighters. South Africans Thompson Mokwana and Mzonke Fana number among his victims in a pro career dating back to 2004.
Colin Nathan, Ndongeni’s trainer, jumped at the opportunity, saying that Ndongeni was at the stage of his career where it’s time to step up, whether in SA or abroad.
“If you want to be world champion, you must do what is required. Sure, this guy is decent. He has a good style and is a counter-puncher with a solid right hand. We want this fight. We fought in California last year where there was a hostile crowd and got the win. There’s always a danger of fighting overseas, but Golden Gloves has asked for a judge from SA, Ghana and a neutral country to ensure fairness. It won’t be easy. It will be a very hard fight, but Nomeva is up for it.”
Given the bad breaks Ndongeni has had to endure, chiefly with promoters letting him down, everyone involved will be holding thumbs that his Ghana trip represents a turning point.
He’s ranked by the WBC, WBA and WBO and is tantalisingly close to making a major international breakthrough. Tagoe represents one major step on that ladder. A win is thus imperative.