By Ron Jackson
South African welterweight champion Thulani Mbenge (18-1, 14 KOs) returns to action after being out of the ring for a year when he faces Idd Pialari (30-7-1, 21 KOs) from Tanzania at The Gallery in Sandton, Johannesburg on Thursday, June 30.
One of South Africa’s most talented welterweights Mbenge, was born in Mdantsane in the Eastern Cape and will celebrate his 31st birthday on July 15.
Mbenge was an outstanding amateur before joining the professional ranks, winning the South African junior welterweight championships in 2010 and 2011 and a bronze medal at the 2012 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
He made his professional debut on May 16, 2015 and went on to win the South African, WBC International and IBO welterweight titles.
The only loss on his record came against Sebastian Formella in July 2019 when he lost the IBO belt in a well below performance.
Since that loss he has won three in a row and should be too experienced for the 28-year-old Pialari.
Pialari, 28, made his pro debut in September 2009 and in his most recent fight on February 20 he won the vacant Universal Boxing Organisation and Tanzania Pugilistic Syndicate welterweight titles.
On the same card Emmany Kalombo (15-1) from the DRC and Kenyan, Rayton Okwiri (7-0-1) meet, in a clash for the IBF International junior middleweight title.