By Mesuli Zifo
South African boxer Tshifhiwa Munyai has emerged as frontrunner to replace Nehomar Cermeno for the WBA junior featherweight title clash against Scott Quigg at Manchester Arena in Manchester, UK on April 19.
Cermeno has reportedly withdrawn from the fight for unspecified reasons leaving promoters desperately trying to find a replacement as a huge chunk of tickets have already been sold.
Munyai is already in UK where he was helping Martin Ward with sparring for his technical drawn IBF bantamweight title challenge against Stuart Hall last weekend.
Coincidentally Hall was making the first defence of the crown he won when he beat Munyai's compatriot Vusi Malinga.
Rated 10th by the WBA, Munyai has already been approved to face Quigg and the organisers of the fight are also keen on taking him as a replacement.
The onus is with Quigg's camp as it still wants to study video footage of the lanky 28-year-old South African fighter before agreeing on the fight.
Reacting to the news, Munyai said he has always wanted to face Quigg as he believes his style is tailor- made for the unbeaten Brit.
I know the fight is at short notice but it is what I have always wanted and thankfully I have been in camp so my fitness is not a problem, he said from UK where he has decided to stay for a while and see out the latest developments regarding the fight.
Munyai is quite familiar with the British boxing scene as he derailed several British prospects when he held the Commonwealth bantamweight crown.
Coming in as an unknown boxer from Africa, Munyai first dealt then unbeaten Martin Power (19-0 at the time) his first professional loss when he stopped him in nine rounds in London to take Commonwealth crown in 2006.
He returned to the city four months later to inflict yet another defeat on the previously unbeaten Lee Haskins (15-0 at the time) stopping him in six rounds to retain the crown.
In a return clash in 2007, he forced Power to quit in the fourth round in defence of his crown.
He went back to UK to beat SA-born Harry Ramogoadi as well as Abdu Tabazwala defeating them on points in succession.
Although he lost to UK-based Osumanu Akaba of Ghana in only his second and last loss in 27 bouts with a draw, he is still held in high regard by British boxing fans as well as television networks.
People here already know me and the British television is keen on the fight, but Quigg's camp is stalling obviously cowed by my record against unbeaten British boxers, he said.
While no official decision has been made as yet, there is big chance that Munyai will land the fight as he is already in UK sparing the promoter from paying his flight expenses and hotel accommodation.
All the promoter will need to do is to fly only my trainer Warren Hulley from South Africa and arrange for his visas, he reasons.
Quigg (27-0-2, 20 KOs) is considered as one of the top dogs in the division and is even rated above WBC champion Leo Santa Cruz by some publications.
But Munyai sees nothing special on the Brit.
I know people will think that I am taking this fight for money but believe me that is the least of my priorities. All I want to do is to beat Quigg and I am going to do that regardless of the short notice. Tags: Nehomar Cermeno , Scott Quigg , Quigg-Cermeno , Quigg vs. Cermeno