A rematch beckons for Xolisani Ndongeni and Mzonke Fana – this time with the vacant IBO lightweight belt at stake.
On Saturday, the pair produced an intriguing tactical battle that had Emperors Palace divided on the outright winner of their Pan-African title clash. While the judges narrowly opted for Ndongeni, many felt that the veteran former world champion had shown enough ring smarts to snatch the verdict.
One of those who had a different interpretation was Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman, who believed a draw would have been a fair verdict.
In the event, Ndongeni would have taken aboard any number of lessons, not least the need to up his inside game and throw caution to the wind. Fana himself was a revelation and proved the value of experience at the ripe age of 41.
There was enough sting in the outcome to call for a rematch and Berman will contact the IBO about sanctioning the title for the pair.
“Having heard so much about ‘Nomeva’, I was a little disappointed,” said Berman. “Fana boxed brilliantly, but the youngster ought to have handled him better. That said, the outcome sets up a rematch perfectly for later in the year.”