JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s Gideon Buthelezi returns to action after having been inactive for 12 months when he makes the fourth defence of his IBO belt against Lucas Emmanuel Fernandes Leone of Argentina at the International Convention Centre in East London on Friday night.
The tournament will be broadcast live on SS9 from 8pm.
It is disappointing that this talented fighter has been inactive for so long and the IBO must be commended for not stripping him of the belt.
The 32-year-old Buthelezi (20-5, 4 KOs) made his pro debut in 2006, losing on points over four rounds to Nestor Bolun.
His other losses came against Tshepo Lefele, Adrian Hernandez, Edrin Dapudong and Lwandile Sityata.
However, this resilient little battler came back from these disastrous defeats to regain the IBO junior-bantamweight belt in December 2015 with a points-victory over Makazole Tete in a clash for the vacant belt.
Since regaining the belt he has looked in top form with successful defences against Diego Luis Pichardo Liriano, Angel Aviles and Ryan Rey Ponteras in his last fight almost exactly a year ago.
He also holds a victory over the current WBA, IBF and The Ring junior-flyweight champion Hekkie Budler.
Leone, 26, who has been fighting as a pro since September 2013, has compiled a record of 12-1-1 (9 KOs) with his only loss coming against Elias David Coronel, who beat him on points over 10 rounds in a bout for the interim Argentina light-flyweight title.
The challenger ranked 28th in the most recent IBO ratings, can only be in with a puncher’s chance.
However, the slick-moving and fast-punching champion should have enough to take the decision over 12 fast rounds.
Also on the bill is a match between Yanga Sigqibo of Duncan Village against Filipino Renie Dasall for the vacant WBC International bantamweight title and Ntlantla Ngamntwini in against Mexico’s Uliser Salvador Lara for the vacant WBA Intercontinental junior-bantamweight title.
In another international fight, Uyanda Nogogo of Mdantsane faces Tanzanian Uliza Aliza for the vacant IBF Youth welterweight title scheduled for 10 rounds.
The box and dine tournament is presented by Ayanda Matiti of Xaba Promotions.
African News Agency (ANA)