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Kaizer Mabuza Eager To Batter Wills For Vacant IBO Strap

Kaizer Mabuza turned up for Tuesday's Golden Gloves press conference at Emperors Palace on the East Rand brandishing a 1.3m long hammer.

This was to drive home his intention to “hammer” Australian Steve Wills for the vacant IBO junior welterweight titleon Saturday night.

Mabuza's antics stole the show at the pre-medical conference for the weekend billing at the same venue.

The South African boxer is currently only rated at 21st in the junior welterweight division by the IBO. Wills is 27th.

Containing a degree more prestige is the main fight in which South Africa's burgeoning IBO champion, Thomas Oosthuizen, will defend his super middleweight title against Cameroonian-born Australian, Serge Yannick.

Oosthuizen is widely regarded to be somewhere around the seventh-best super middleweight in the world.

Fighting the IBO's 29th ranked Yannick, however, is considered no more than a stepping stone to challenging the likes of WBA and WBC champion Andre Ward, IBF champion Lucian Bute and Mikkel Kessler in the not too distant future.

For all this, Charlie Liparota, who trains and manages Yannick, warned South Africans not to be too surprised if there was an upset.

“We're more than willing and ready for Saturday and it should be a good fight if Oosthuizen is as well,” Liparota said.

Trained by former national champion Harold “The Hammer” Volbrecht, Oosthuizen said he was “in the peak form and condition” of his career.

Volbrecht confirmed his charge had been hard at training for over two months for Saturday's fight.

“He has no intention of slipping up on this occasion and thereby jeopardising a string of high-profiled fights in the United States that are beckoning,” said Volbrecht.

Much interest on Saturday night will also be focused on the comeback of Flo Simba as a cruiserweight, after his “Golden Boy” image as a potential future heavyweight of note was crushed by successive knock-out defeats.

“Life consists of triumphs and failures and I intend learning from my setbacks and coming back better and stronger,” said Simba who will face Daniel Bruwer on Saturday.

Simba demonstrated at the pre-medical weigh-in that he would have no problems making the weight in the lower division.

“Flo is truly determined to show his mettle and prove his detractors wrong,” said Volbrecht, who also trains Simba.

“He has been working so hard in the gym that I have regularly had to force him to take a break Ä so enthusiastic is he about making amends for his last two defeats.”

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