Namibia: Jarmann Set for Pan-African War

It will be an all-out war in the vacant WBA Pan-African super-welterweight title showdown between Namibia's Anthony Jarmann and Tanzania's Salehe Mkalekwa on the Fox Sports Africa Boxing promotions tournament in Mbabane, Swaziland on Friday night.

The boxers arrived in Mbabane on Wednesday, and almost came to blows as they checked into their hotel. But a swift movement from world-renowned WBA official Stan Christodoulou averted a punch-up in front of bystanders in the lobby.

Christodoulou suspects that there was something said on the coach en-route from Johannesburg, which spilled over upon the pugilists' arrival in Swaziland.

"It is characteristic of fighters to snap at each other," he said.

"There's a lot at stake for both fighters - Jarmann wants to regain the crown he lost in Botswana earlier this year, and Mkalekwa, a late replacement for Gutram Ngoya, has considerably more to prove as he wants to let the promoters realise that he should not have been overlooked in the first place," he added.

"From what I can see, this WBA Pan African title fight is going to be an awesome battle for honours. Jarmann wants to return home as a champion, and wants to fight in front of his home crowd later this year as the title holder.

"Mkalekwa, on the other hand, wants to spoil that dream. It could be war in the ring."

The Tanzanian has had 17 fights in his professional career - he has won 13 and lost four, while Jarmann has lost twice in his 17-fight professional career with one draw and 14 wins.

Jarmann, who once held the crown but lost it to Botswana's Hassan Mwakinyo on a technical knockout in August last year, said he was confident of reclaiming the title.

"I must admit I was not in the right frame of mind in that title defence - I had just lost my brother a few weeks before that fight. My emotional state on mind was not good and came off second best," he said.

"I was encouraged to go through the title defence by my very supportive mother as I had signed contracts and had to honour them.

"All that's behind me now but I'm ready to fight and win the title once again. I want to return to Windhoek with the WBA belt. I want to fight as the champion when the Fox Sports Africa Boxing tournament comes to my town."

Meanwhile, in the other WBA Pan-African title fight - a super-middleweight encounter also over 12 rounds - Patrick Mukala, born in the DRC but now based in Johannesburg, is in ship-shape condition for his title defence against Ibrahim Tamba of Tanzania.

Mukala has an impressive record of nine wins, with just one loss in 10 professional fights. Tamba, on paper, looks the more experienced with 22 victories, nine losses and a draw.

"We are not too worried about his track record of 22 wins," Ashley Fourie, Mukala's manager said.

"Patrick is all geared up for the fight. I don't think the fight will go the distance. Patrick has trained well for this one, and he knows there are bigger things in store for him if he impresses at the Royal Swazi Spa."

Full bill:

International super welterweight 6 rounds - Charles Shimina (Namibia, won 5 from 5) v Nkhensahosi Makondo (South Africa, W4, Loss 1);

International cruiserweight 6 rounds: Limbani Lano (Malawi, W4, L2, draw 1 -) v Akani Phuzi (South Africa, W4);

International lightweight 6 rounds - Steven Bagwasi (Botswana, W3) v Xolani Mgidi (South Africa, W5, L4);

Vacant WBA Pan African super-welterweight title 12 rounds - Anthony Jarmann (Namibia, W14, L2, D1) v Salehe Mkalekwa Tanzania, W13, L4);

WBA Pan African super-middleweight title 12 rounds - Patrick Mukala (Champion - DRC/South AfricaW9, L1) v Ibrahim Tamba (W22, L9, D1 - Tanzania).

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