NAMIBIA’s Anthony Jarmann has a new rival in Salehe Mkalekwa of Tanzania for the WBA Pan African super-welterweight title fight in Mbabane, Swaziland on June 1.
Mkalekwa agreed to replace compatriot Gutram Ngoya in the Fox Sports Africa Boxing 12-rounder after the latter broke off from his agreement without notifying the promoters and the WBA.
“We were left high and dry late yesterday when we had heard that Ngoya, who had signed a contract to fight Jarmann – this was done almost two months ago – had decided to ditch the fight against the Namibian. He’s on his way for another bout in Australia,” said a fuming Barry Lambert, promoter for Fox Sports Africa Boxing.
“It’s not on,” he added. “He will be reported to the boxing commission in his country, and it must be said that the WBA does not take kindly to boxers doing “double” deals with promoters.
“Jarmann had almost lost the chance of fighting for the vacant WBA super-welterweight title, which he was looking forward to. However, sanity has prevailed, and all is on track for the 1 June tournament at the Royal Swazi Spa.”
Mkalekwa comes with a good track record – he holds the African Boxing Union (ABU) and the Universal Boxing Organisation’s (UBO) African welterweight titles. His record stands at 17 fights, 14 wins and four losses.
The 26-year-old Tanzanian won the ABU title in April this year when he beat Andreas Valavanis of Greece on a unanimous decision. Valavanis had arrived at the fight with an unblemished record – 10 fights, and all 10 knock-outs. But he found his match in the wily Mkalekwa.
Valavanis was a WBF welterweight and super-welterweight inter-continental champion.
“He will be a tough opponent for Jarmann,” said Stan Christodoulou, the WBA director for Africa, and adviser for regional development in the continent.
“We had to move fast and swiftly to get Mkalekwa’s papers sorted, and we’ve done that within a short period. We are pleased that Jarmann has a shot at the vacant title.”
Meanwhile, the four-round undercard catchweight non-title fight between two Swazis – Mnely Nkambule and Sbonela Ndzimande – has been scrapped from the bill. Nkambule, who was to have made his professional debut, has injured his hand, and was declared unfit to fight by the boxing medical team in Swaziland.