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Comparisons - by Ron Jackson

There are still a few really classy SA fighters around. IBF champions Moruti Mthalane (flyweight), Nkosinathi Joyi (minimumweight) and Takalani Ndlovu (junior featherweight) are highly rated in many countries.

But most of the 17 current SA champions do not compare well with their recent predecessors.

Without being unkind, one has to say that Wiseman Dlomo must be one of the
weakest SA heavyweight champions in history. His record of 9-8-2, with nine
stoppage wins, tells only part of the story.

No one who has seen Dlomo fight would compare him with the likes of Jimmy Richards, Mike Schutte, Gerrie Coetzee, Pierre Coetzer and Corrie Sanders.

The junior heavyweight division was created only in October 1988.

Thabiso Mchunu, who was stripped of his title after coming in overweight for a
fight against Daniel Bruwer, may have held his own against previous champions
such as Earl Morais and Jacob Mofokeng but would have struggled against
Sebastiaan Rothmann.

Tshepang Mohale, whose record stands at 8-3; 7, is the SA supermiddleweight
and lightheavyweight champion.

He would have been out of his depth against super-middleweights Thulane “Sugarboy” Malinga, Andre Thysse, Dingaan Thobela and William Gare.
Against light-heavyweights such as Sarel Aucamp, Pierre Fourie and Piet Crous he
would have had no chance.

Middleweight champion Khaphathe Mpambanyeni (8-3-1; 8) has been stripped of his title for medical reasons. Christopher Buthelezi (15-12-2; 6) and Malibongwe Ndzube, who has a reported record of 5-2; 2, will be meet for the vacant title.

They do not seem to in the same class as former champions Charles Oosthuizen, Giovanni Pretorius and Mpush Makambi.

Tshepo Mashego (19-10; 10), the junior middleweight champion, had his last fight in April last year. He was due to defend his title against mandatory challenger Page Tshesane, but has been stripped of his title. Tshesane (7-3-2; 3) and Nkululeko Mhlongo (8-2; 7) will now meet for the vacant title.

They would have struggled against the likes of Oosthuizen, Gregory Clark, Makambi and Gare.

Welterweight champion Chris van Heerden (16-1-1; 10) may have held his own against some previous champions but has a long way to go before he can be compared with Harold Volbrecht, Joseph Makaringe and Peter Malinga.

Junior welterweight champion Sikhulile Sidzumo (18-3-4; 12) cannot be compared yet with the likes of Aaron Kabi, Lawrence Ngobeni, Lucky Lewele and Kaiser Mabuza.

Lightweight champion Thompson Mokwana (15-7; 9) might have stood up to Sikhulile Sidzumo and Irvin Buhlalu, but would have battled against Aladin Stevens, Danny Myburg and Isaac Hlatshwayo.

Godfrey Nzimande (22-3-2; 13), who holds the junior lightweight belt, is a good boxer but has had only four fights since April 2009. Mzonke Fana and Ali Funeka would have blown him away.

Matima Molefe (11-1; 8), who won the vacant featherweight title in May, has had two fights in the past two years. In previous years he would have been up against Malcolm Klassen, Ludumo Galada and Sabelo Jubatha, who was stripped of the title recently.

Junior featherweight champion Xolise Macbute Sinyabi (17-1; 17) has to be compared with Lehlohonolo Ledwaba, Thomas Mashaba and Oscar Chauke. He might have ha a puncher’s chance.

Phumzile Matyhile (17-1; 12) is a talented fighter but was 28 years old when he turned professional. He won the SA bantamweight title in August last year.

It is unlike he would have done well against Derrick Whiteboy, Vusi Malinga and Simphiwe Vetyeka.

Miniyakhe Sityatha (11-2; 5) won the junior bantamweight title in April this year, succeeding the likes of Simon Ramoni and Zolile Mbityi in a division that was created in 1992.

Flyweight champion Xola Sifama (9- 2-1; 6) has had only four fights since June 2007. Without going into the distant past, one has to ask whether he would have troubled Gabula Vabaza, Zolile Mbityi and especially Moruti Mthalane.

Luzuko Siyo (9-0; 7), who recently won the vacant junior flyweight title, is an unknown quantity. Some of his recent predecessors were Mzukisi Sikali, Muvhuso Nedzananai and Mfundo Gwayana.

The mini-flyweight division was introduced only in 1992. The champion, Tshepo Lefele (16-5; 10) may have been out of place in a ring with Nkosinathi Joyi.