The ring lights will blaze to life one last time at Emperors Palace when the annual “Christmas Cracker” box and dine takes place tonight at the casino venue and both Johnny Muller and Vhonani Netshidamboni will be hoping to cap their year with a title belt.
The two will do battle for the SA light-heavyweight title currently held by Muller and he’ll be the favourite to secure his crown against a relative novice in Netshidamboni – that is if he repeats the type of performance that saw him win the belt for a second time.
When stopping Tshepang Mohale in 11 rounds back in August, the “Hurricane” was patient in picking apart the then champion, boxing cleverly behind his jab before working his way to the championship belt.
“Johnny always ends up in a tough fight. We know we’re in a tough fight but we’re not scared,” said Harold Volbrecht, who hones the 22-year-old’s skills, in the build-up to tonight’s showdown.
“He’s improving and growing into a good fighter especially over the last few months. We respect our opponent but Johnny will definitely shine on the night.”
Netshidamboni will have his work cut out when he brings his seven-fight record into the ring against the experience of Muller who has been in 19 pro battles.
There was drama at yesterday’s weigh-in when Ryno Liebenberg’s opponent, Daniel Allotey of Ghana, weighed in at 5kg over the prescribed light-heavyweight limit for their 10 rounder.
As it stands, the fight will go ahead provided that the opponent is within 5% of the limit and a cancellation is something that Liebenberg’s conditioner, Colin Nathan, is keen to avoid.
“Obviously safety-wise we don’t want anything to happen. Ryno has prepared well for this contest and we all want to see him fight.”
In other fights, Dowayne Combrink faces Simon Mokwena in the middleweight division over six rounds, Ricardo Hiraman meets Thabo Mohlake in a featherweight contest set for four rounds, while Malindi and Vuyo Majavu meet over four rounds in the bantamweight division.