By Ronnie Nathanielsz
Well known South African promoter Branco Milenkovic plans to schedule a rematch between former IBF champions Jeffrey Mathebula, who lost his WBO super bantamweight title to WBO champion Nonito “The Filipino Flash’ Donaire at the Home Depot Center in Carson City last June 7, and Takalani Ndlovu who had earlier lost the IBF crown to Mathebula last March.
Milenkovic said Mathebula was beaten but far from disgraced in his unification title clash with Donaire pointing out that Donaire was regarded as one of the best boxers, pound-for-pound, in the world and the fight was "a lot closer than the scorecards suggest".
He said "This is certainly not the end of the road,” for Mathebula.
In discussing a rematch between the two South African former IBF champions, Milenkovic told SuperSport, South Africa that “Both Mathebula and Ndlovu are considered to be among the top ten fighters in the world in their division and a rematch between the two would seem a logical step and real crowd-puller. The winner could try to regain the super-bantamweight belt for South Africa."
Milenkovic complimented Mathebula for taking on Donaire, although some critics said he was taking on more than he could chew.
The promoter noted that "If you have ambitions to be the best you have to beat the best. Jeffrey proved his mettle by earning whole-hearted praise from Donaire for using his height and speed to good advantage and making it a difficult fight."
Mathebula reportedly earned a purse that would have been out of reach in South Africa although no amounts were revealed.