MBABANE – The weight mishap that threatened to derail Rofhiwa Maemu’s title defence will not have an impact in his fight against Haidari Mchanjo of Tanzania here on Friday night, the champion insists.
Maemu weighed 250 grams more than the maximum of 57.153kg his division allows on the eve of his WBA Pan African Featherweight title defence at Royal Swazi Spa in Fox Sports’ Africa Boxing event. “War Child” managed to lose the extra grams and he is confident that’s the only thing he will lose in his stay in Swaziland.
“The problem was caused by the scale I was using,” Maemu said. “I am a champion and I had to come here weighing the right weight. But then unfortunately the scale I was using misled me. I chilled here the whole day thinking that my weight was alright. It was 57kg but it turned out I was 250 grams overweight.
I had to lose those grams in the sauna in less than two hours which I did. But this is my job. This is what I do. Having to lose those few grams wasn’t that much for me. It wasn’t a big deal. I am something else, if you understand. They know in South Africa that I am a machine. You might think that I lost my energy because of this, never! Come fight night you will see flames.”
Mchanjo walked at the Royal Swazi Spa like a peacock, strutting his stuff and flexing his muscles while Maemu was busy shedding the extra grams.
“He has already made the first mistake by coming here weighing more than he should,” Mchanjo said through a translator. “I will knock him out in the sixth round to return home as a champion. His body is weak after enduring what he went through.”
Maemu disagrees with Mchanjo’s prediction of a sixth-round knockout.
“Let’s see if he will make it to the sixth round,” Maemu said. “Last year in Botswana I fought someone from Tanzania, from the same hood as him. He was also short as him and talked too much like him. I silenced him. I will do the same thing to him.”
Maemu’s bout with Mchanjo will be the last fight of a bill that features six matches. The final bout will be preceded by another title defence, WBA Pan African Lightweight champion Ayanda Nkosi against Michael Odhiambo from Kenya.
“We are not tourists here, we are here to fight,” Odhiambo said. “I didn’t fly from Kenya to South Africa and then to Swaziland for nothing. I am here to do what I do best. I am a veteran boxer. I am not an amateur. This is my work. I am confident because I have been working hard.
This is a title fight, WBA. Ayanda is an upcoming boxer. He is young and angry. He wants to be in places that I have been. I have fought tough fighters. I have been there and done it. I am coming hard and hot.”
The Complete Fox Sports’ Africa Boxing Bill
International Featherweight Contest – Four Rounds
Tshepang Babui (Botswana) vs Vusumuzi Nyawuza (South Africa)
International Super Featherweight Contest – Six Rounds
Kutlwano Ogaketse (Botswana) vs Hloni Maboko (South Africa)
International Lightweight Contest – Six Rounds
Steven Bagwasi (Botswana) vs Anthony Moloisane (South Africa)
Junior Bantamweight Contest – 6 Rounds
Sikho Nqothole (South Africa) vs Lemohang Mapitsi (South Africa)
WBA Pan African Lightweight title – 12 Rounds
Ayanda Nkosi (South Africa, champion) vs Michael Odhiambo (Kenya)
WBA Pan African Featherweight Title – 12 Rounds
Rofhiwa Maemu (South Africa, champion) vs Haidari Mchanjo (Tanzania)
* Njabulo Ngidi is in Swaziland courtesy of Fox Sports