WBA Pan African super bantamweight champion Tshifiwe ‘Atomic Spider’ Munyai has been replaced by Evans Mbamba in the headline bout on the Chesanyama bill on Saturday, 29 June, at Graceland Casino, Secunda.The celebrated Limpopo boxer Munyai who recently won the WBA Pan African super bantamweight title has been medically advised to lay off for six weeks, and has been forced to withdraw from the 29 June event at the Secunda casino and gaming venue.
He has been replaced by the Mpumalanga southpaw Evans Mbamba who is no stranger to championship boxing. He will be challenged by Mexico’s Mario Briones for the vacant WBF junior featherweight title, in a bout scheduled for 12 rounds.
Mbamba, 31, is a vastly experienced campaigner has thrice challenged for WBC titles (international and interim) and as well the IBO championship. During his 21-fight career, the Nick Durant-trained has never been knocked out in his three defeats, while raking in 18 wins, nine via the knock-route. Most of his fights have been in South Africa but his career has taken him to Mexico and Armenia as well.
Briones, 27, has a record of 28 fights, with three defeats and a draw. He’s something of a knck-out specialist since 18 of his 24 wins were inside the distance.
He’s suffered mixed fortunes in his champions bouts for various titles under the WBC, WBA and WBO banner, and though he’s fought mostly on boxing-mad Mexico he’s also campaigned in Panama, Philippines and France.
Thinus Strydom, who will be promoting the Chesanyama bill, said he was sorry that Munyai will not be up for the WBF title shot, because of the WBA post-fight report which said he has been been subjected to a fair amount of punishment in his win over Ghana’s Emmanuel Quartey in East London a few weeks ago.
“We’ve been fortunate to recruit Mbamba who is deserving of a crack at a world title,” said Strydom. “He’s has some close calls in previous championship bouts outside the country, but hopefully he’ll do better on home soil.
“This is special tournament for me because in all my years as a boxing promoter, I’ve never had a boxer from my province feature in the headline bout.
“Mbamba is my home boy and he’ll enjoy great support from all in Mpumalanga.”
World Boxing Federation chief, Howard Goldberg, was delighted with the appointment of Mbamba and his opponent Briones.
“We are very pleased with the credentials of the two boxers who will challenge for the belt,” said Goldberg. “Both are worthy challengers, and Mbamba deserves a title shot because he’s probably done even better than his record suggests. Briones, well, he’s as tough as the Mexicans come.”
There be more for South Africas to cheer about in the other WBF world title bout, which pits the East Rand talent Gabisile ‘Simply the Best’ Tshabalala against Australia’s Shannon O’Connel. Their WBF women’s featherweight world title bout is scheduled for 10 rounds.
The full bill reads:
Lightweight, 4 rounds: Willis Baloyi vs Mpho Babe
Junior middleweight, 4 rounds: Alfonso Tissen vs Vusi Bilankkulu
Junior Welterweight, 6 rounds: Botisepe Mandawe vs Mastercard Manglaza
Lightweight, 6 rounds: Shannon Strydom vs Tshifhiwa ‘Timer’ Munyai
Super middlewieght, rounds: Vhonani Netshidamboni vs Simon Mokwana
WBF Women’s Junior Featherweight Title, 10 rounds: Gabisile Tshabalala (SA) vs Shannon O’Connell (Australia)
WBF Junior Featherweight Title, 12 rounds: Evans Mbamba (SA) vs Mario Briones (Mexico)
*Tickets are on sale at www.graceland.co.za box office at R60 per seat. Pre-fight before the big one kicks off at 20h00