In what will be a massive local attraction, and a top-class match-up, World Boxing Federation (WBF) World Light Welterweight Champion Zolani Marali will defend his title against former world titlist, and fellow countryman, Kaizer Mabuza on Friday July 18 in East London, South Africa.
This will be the second defense for Marali, who won the WBF crown in his second attempt by dethroning then champion Ali Funeka in December 2012. He has since defended against Mzolisi Yoyo last September, and is chomping at the bit to return to action.
Nicknamed “untouchable”, the 37-year-old Southpaw from Mdantsane has been a pro since 2001, compiling an impressive 23-5 (13) record against good opponents such as Xolani Ndleleni, Pastor Maurin, Thomas Mashaba, Billy Dib, Ji-Hoon Kim and the aforementioned Funeka, just to name a few.
Three years younger at 34, Kaizer Mabuza brings a more modest 25-11-3 (15) ledger to the table, but he has also mixed with very good opposition, defeating undefeated Ukrainian Serhiy Fedchenko (23-0) and former world champion Kendall Holt, and losing competitive brawls with Zab Judah and Chris Van Heerden.
In 2012 he won the IBO World title, stopping undefeated Australian Steven Wills (16-0-2), but lost the belt three months later in Russia to Khabib Allakverdiev (16-0), and he will see the fight against Marali as his big opportunity to become world champion again.
The Zolani Marali vs. Kaizer Mabuza WBF World Light Welterweight title fight will be promoted by Ayanda Matiti and his Xaba Boxing Promotions.