Cape Town — Undefeated Mdantsane-born Ludumo Lamati will attempt to restore his boxing career on Sunday when he steps into the ring for a 10-rounder against Tanzanian Haidari Mchanjo at Booysens Boxing Club, Johannesburg.
The Lamati-Mchanjo clash will be the headline bout on Manny Fernandez's BRD Boxing Promotions bill which will offer a seven-fight card. The main event will not be a title bout but the winner of the junior featherweight will receive the new WBC African Spirit Championship belt, which has been loosely termed the Ubuntu belt.
The WBC African Spirit Championship belt is the brainchild of WBC SA representatives Larry Weinstein and Alan Norman who were looking to create fight opportunities for fighters, and in this case, especially for the classy Lamati who has a praiseworthy WBC No 9 ranking in the junior featherweight division.
Weinstein and Norman head up Boxing 5 Promotions and they are co-promoters for the tournament.
Lamati's career was on the road to nowhere since he turned down a title defence against the Mexican José Martín Estrada García, who, he defeated last June for the vacant IBO super bantamweight title in Kempton Park. Lamati's handlers felt a return bout would not benefit his objective to challenge for a world title.
Lamati has an outstanding record of 18 wins (10 by KO) and one draw in a 19-fight career. He is 30 years old, and time is running out for him to strike it big in the fistic world. He will need to be impressive to attract promoters who will fork out the funds to stage title bouts.
Mchanjo steps into the ring with a 30-fight record which includes 16 wins, nine defeats and five draws, and on the back of a four-match winning streak in his native country. He fought in South Africa four years ago against Lerato Dlamini in East London and lost there.
Lamati believes a convincing performance will open the doors for bigger fights in the future.
"I will have to bring my A-game because he is a big counter-puncher," said Lamati, who a few days ago relinquished the IBO super bantamweight title after he was told to defend the title, or he will be stripped of the crown.
"Here is a boxer who knows his way around the ring after 30 bouts, so he'll bring the best out of me.
"My handlers have ensured that I'm well prepared for this bout. I'll be at my best and make sure the fans will enjoy the bout."
Lamati is pleased that the promoters have chosen to offer the winner of Sunday’s bout the new WBC African Spirit Championship belt.
"This is something new and I'm proud to be part of it," said Lamati. "The WBC is a major player in world boxing and it is always good to be part of an organization of that stature.
"I'm hoping this bout will help push me up the WBC and IBF rankings and then hope it opens the way for an elimination or even a world title bout."