Sivenathi Nontshinga will get robust challenger Regie Suganob for first title protection


September 3, 2022; Hermosillo, Sonora, MX; Hector Flores and Sivenathi Nontshinga throughout their September 3, 2022 bout on the Centro de Usos Multiples in Hermosillo, Mexico. Obligatory Credit score: Ed Mulholland/Matchroom.

When Sivenathi Nontshinga steps into the ring in entrance of his hometown followers on Sunday on the Worldwide Conference Centre in East London it received’t be a conventional homecoming.

Often, a champion will get a much less threatening foe in his maiden protection. As a substitute, Nontshinga shall be defending his IBF junior flyweight title in opposition to his obligatory challenger, undefeated Filipino Regie Suganob. The challenger is coming off a pair of victories over two undefeated fighters, Andika D’Goldenboy and Mark Vicelles.

In contrast to lots of his countrymen who’re awkward, aggressive fighters alongside the mould of the well-known Senator Manny Pacquiao, Suganob is a calculated boxer who instructions the middle of the ring along with his jab. He has a strong left hook to the physique and his straight proper is crisp, correct and a factor of magnificence. The punch put a number of foes on the canvas, though he has solely 4 knockouts in his 13 wins.

“He’s not your typical Filipino fighter,” agrees Nontshinga’s supervisor/coach, Colin Nathan. “He is an effective counter puncher. It is a tough combat. It can come right down to who has the higher sport plan on the evening.”

After a strong novice profession, Nontshinga began his professional profession in 2017 educated by his father Thembani Gopheni, who remains to be a part of the workforce as co-trainer. He was moved quick and in his ninth bout in 2020 was matched with the extra skilled Ivan Soriano. He walked by means of some arduous photographs which marked up his face however ended up handing his foe the primary knockout lack of his profession, ending the combat within the fifth spherical.

Then the pandemic struck, which saved him out of the ring for a yr, however he ultimately secured an IBF eliminator in opposition to the harmful Christian Araneta in April of 2021. In that combat he turned boxer, transferring away from Araneta’s southpaw left, utilizing his jab from the skin to attain factors. He survived a final spherical knockdown from a surging Araneta to win a 12-round break up choice however as a substitute of a title shot, one other 20 months of inactivity adopted.

When he lastly acquired his shot in September final yr, he needed to journey to Hermosillo, Mexico to face undefeated Hector Flores for the title vacated by Felix Alvarado.

He acquired off to an incredible begin, dropping the Mexican with a proper within the second spherical. Because it turned out, he wanted that knockdown. Flores got here roaring again and dragged the combat into the trenches, hammering away on the South African, who willingly traded. An all-out struggle ensued that had the followers glued to their seats.

Simply because it appeared as if Nontshinga was on the verge of falling aside, he dug deep and turned the combat again his approach within the championship rounds, prevailing by break up choice.

Not solely did the 23-year-old set a brand new South African report for profitable a significant sanctioning physique world title in solely 11 skilled bouts, however their encounter was additionally awarded “Battle of the 12 months” standing by the IBF.

That was then, that is now and in boxing you’re solely nearly as good as your final combat. Residence crowds can typically be a bonus, but it surely may also be a infamous banana pores and skin. Simply ask Katie Taylor or Michael Conlan.

Nontshinga-Suganob would be the first main sanctioning physique world title combat to be held on South African soil since 2016 when Hekkie Budler misplaced his WBA strawweight title to Byron Rojas.

Nontshinga nevertheless, appears unfazed by the hometown stress and exudes confidence. “All the pieces went properly, we are actually simply ready for the large day to ship,” says the champion. “Folks neglect that now we have the most effective junior flyweights at Hotbox Gymnasium. I had nice sparring with Deejay Kriel, Hekkie Budler and Sikho Nqothole.”

When requested about Suganob, he responds, “I don’t know something about him besides that he’s a boxer, and he’s good. I respect him however, on the second of July, he’ll fall brief, similar to all of the others.”

When pushed for a prediction, he’s at first hesitant. “We aren’t going for the knockout, if it comes it comes.” Then he shortly modified his tune. “We’re moving into with each arms, we’re going to set traps. By spherical 5, he’ll be out of there.”

Suganob has undoubted abilities, however he has by no means fought on the highway. He has by no means fairly needed to go to these darkish locations in a combat and emerge victorious because the champion has. 

Alternatively, Nontshinga needed to be hospitalized briefly after his grueling struggle with Flores. Will there be lingering results from that combat? Might the raucous crowd, which is able to little question be at capability, result in overconfidence?

We’ll quickly discover out.

The event is offered by Teris Ntutu and Nomfesane Nyathela of Rumble Africa Promotions.


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