By Ron Jackson
South African fighters are well represented by the International Boxing Organisation with four world champions and 41 fighters rated in eleven weight classes. The IBO claim to be the only sanctioning body with unbiased computerized rankings and that rate 100 fighters in each weight division. South Africa has four IBO world champions, cruiserweight Kevin Lerena (21-1, 9 KOs) who defends his belt against Arthur Mann on Saturday March 16 at Emperors near Kempton Park, welterweight Thulani Mbenge (15-0, 12 KOs); junior bantamweight Gideon Buthelezi (21-5, 4 KOs) and minimumweight Simpiwe Konko (19-5, 7 KOs.
There are two fighters listed in the cruiserweight division Thabiso Mchunu (No.18) and Thomas Oosthuizen (No 47).
The only South African rated in the super-middleweights is Ryno Liebenberg who comes in at No. 43.
In the welterweights, former IBO welterweight champion Chris van Heerden is rated at No. 29.
The lightweights have four South African fighters listed, Simphiwe Vetyeka (No. 21), Xolisani Ndongeni (No.71), Ayanda Nkosi (No. 80) and Michael Mokoena (No. 91).
The junior-lightweights have the highly promising Azinga Fuzile at No. 5 and Phila Mpontshana (No.62), and Malcolm Klassen at No. 74.
Only two fighters are listed in the featherweights, Lerato Dlamini (No. 13) and Sydney Maluleka (No. 68), with the junior-featherweights also only having two, Ludumo Lamati (No. 14) and Michael Ramabeletsa (No. 64).
There is only one South African rated in the bantamweights, Ronald Malinda at No. 41.
In the junior-bantamweights we have Yanga Sigqibo (No.4), Athenkosi Dumezweni (No. 25) and Sabelo Ngebinyana (No. 65).
South African flyweights are listed well down the list with Jackson Chauke at No.74, Thembelani Nxoshe (No. 79), Fikile Mlonyeni (No.82) and Nhlanhla Ngamntwini (No.91).
There are five at light-flyweight, Nkosinathi Joyi (No. 24), Sive Nontshinga (No. 35), Thabang Ramagole (No. 59), Bongani Silila (No. 76) and Mpho Seforo (No. 88).
South Africa is best represented in the minimumweight class with 12 fighters listed.
DeeJay Kriel who won the IBF minimumweight belt on Saturday, February 16 is rated at No. 10.
Others listed are No. 25 Xolisa Magusha, Ayanda Dulani (No. 29), Siphamandla Baleni (No. 45), Loyiso Ngantweni (No. 57), Phumelele Cafu (No.73), Khanyiso Siko (No. 67), Thembelani Okolo (No.78), Thenkosi Thongwana (No. 83), Thandolwethu Hlangeni (No. 85), Sipnathi Dasa (No. 91) and Masivuye Philiso (No.98).