“We have checked and studied Doctor’s ability and style, and we’ve added our own style to counter his ability,” says Thembani Mbangatha. Photo: Supplied

CAPE TOWN – “All I can say at the moment is that the title will remain in Cape Town.”

These were the words confidently spoken by Thembani ‘Baby Jake’ Mbangatha ahead of his WBF (World Boxing Federation) Africa title defence against Doctor Ntsele on Friday night at the Wynberg Military Base in Cape Town.

“We have checked and studied Doctor’s ability and style, and we’ve added our own style to counter his ability.

“So, I will handle him come Friday night,” added Mbangatha.

It has been a tough road back for the man from Capricorn, and it culminates at the Battle Ready event in the Mother City.

Mbangatha returns to the venue where he earned his title back in 2017, after surviving a painstaking fight with Mayihlomo Mjonono – which saw him overcome a dislocated shoulder he sustained in the earlier rounds.

After extensive rehabilitation, the Cape Town favourite is back and is ready to defend his title.

“Look, I can’t say there are no worries about the shoulder. It is part of life and injuries are part of boxing, so there is always caution there.

“But I can say that we have gone through a lot of training, and we have done extensive preparation.

“My team is 100 percent ready. I am over the injury and we are ready to fight,” he said at the weigh-in, which took place at the Colosseum Hotel down in the grand Century City.

Mbangatha, a man with nine bouts and four knockout wins, cuts a cool, calm and focused figure, the total opposite of his opponent.

A grizzled and experienced campaigner with 34 bouts under his belt, Ntsele is certainly going to try to make life difficult for the Cape favourite.

The orthodox fighter from the Free State, who has 22 wins (14 KOs) and 11 losses, stated that he is not in Cape Town to collect a pay-cheque, but aims to take the belt away from the coast.

From Mbangatha’s home-crowd advantage, to the hunger that is present in Ntsele’s eyes, only time will tell who will get the crowd’s salute at the Wynberg Military Base on Friday night.

Battle Ready Bill (Starts at 8pm)

Featherweight, 10 rounds, WBF Africa title: Thembani Mbangatha v Doctor Ntsele

Light-heavyweight, 8 rounds: Nicholas Radley v Charles Misanjo

Welterweight, 6 rounds: Antonio Mayala v Denys Lazarev

Welterweight, 4 rounds: Farhaaz Ishmael v Dennis Mbatha

Heavyweight, 4 rounds: Falay Kubeya v Taras Neudash

Junior-lightweight, 8 rounds: Sinethemba Bam v Dumisani Tose

@juliankiewietz


Cape Argus

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