By Ron Jackson
World championship boxing returns to East London at the International Convention Centre in East London on Friday night when the veteran Nkosinathi “Mabere” Joyi defends his IBO mini-flyweight belt against fellow South African Ayanda Ndulani.
The 38-year-old Joyi has had an outstanding career since making his pro debut in April 2002 and captured the following titles, Eastern Cape, South African, IBO, IBF, WBC International mini-flyweight titles, and the WBC International junior flyweight title.
The southpaw Joyi who has a record of 29-5-1; 19 will be making the first defence of his belt in his second reign as IBO champion.
The five losses on his record have come against Mario Rodriguez (ko 7), Hekkie Budler (sd 12), Rey Loreto on two occasions (ko 3 and tko 1) and Simpiwe Konco (pts 12), all in world title fights.
He was considered finished and about to retire after his loss against Konco, but this talented fighter surprised his critics as he came back to score wins over Mpho Sefero (ko7), Nhlanhla Tyiha for the WBO Africa light flyweight title, a technical draw against Siphamandla Baleni and then win against Joey Canoy for the IBO belt.
The 24-year-old Ndulani 10-2-1; 3 has won the WBF African, Eastern Cape and African Boxing Union mini flyweight titles.
His two losses have come against Xolisa Magusha (tko 3) and Siphamandla Baleni (ud 12), and in his most recent fight on 28 September 2019 he scored a ten round unanimous points decision over the 28 fight Loyiso Ngantweni.
Joyi has been inactive for 522 days and Ndulani for 601 with the champion going into the fight as the betting despite his advanced age for a fighter in this division.
The main organisation champions are WBA, Thamasoon Niyomtrong, WBC, Panya Pradabar, IBF, Rene Mark Cuarto and WBO, Wilfredo Mendez.
On the undercard Filipino Joey Canoy and the former South African light flyweight champion Nhlanhla Tyirha, meet for the vacant WBA Pan African light flyweight title.
The tournament is presented by Ayanda Matiti of Xaba Promotions.