EFC Bantamweight Championship
STER-KINEKOR PRELIM CARD
Johannesburg (South Africa) – Fight fans converged at Johannesburg’s Coca-Cola Dome for the EFC 31 weigh-in event today, July 02, ahead of EFC 31: Zulu vs. Pena, taking place at the same venue tomorrow night.
All eyes were on Angolan Demarte ‘The Wolf’ Pena, the former featherweight champion who relinquished his title in order to make a run at a second title at bantamweight. Should Pena win he will be the first man to hold an EFC title in two weight categories.
Often outsized at feather, the undefeated Pena handled his first major weight cut with aplomb, hitting the scale at 60.90kg, a perfect 100 grams under the 61kg cut off. He gave the champion an icy stare down and afterward remarked coolly, “I’ve been here many times. Tomorrow will be no different.”
The champion, Nkazimulo Zulu, had been outspoken all week. He had remarked that Pena has shown a lack of respect in his new division, and reminded the world that they fought at amateur level, where Zulu came out on top.
“My plan is just to knock him out… I’m ready,” said Zulu.
Fireworks sparked at the bantamweight bout opening tomorrow’s main card, when Matthew Buirski missed his weight by 1.3kg. Cedric Doyle immediately grinned, knowing that an overweight athlete will be penalized and that amount will revert to him. Buirksi charged in for their face-off, prompting security to separate the two.
Nelson Feiteira and Brendon Katz headline the Ster-Kinekor Prelim Card tomorrow night, and harsh words had been exchanged in the build-up. Finally confronted with his opponent, the veteran Katz went in close to stake his dominance on the fight, and was met by Feiteira refusing to back down. Again security had to separate the two. Their meeting promises a fearsome matchup, both tough and equally well-rounded. The crowd roared their approval when former heavyweight champion Andrew van Zyl took to the stage. He is up against Africa’s boxing champion Elvis Moyo tomorrow, and more than ready to re-ignite his title trail.
Light heavyweights Tumelo ‘The Truck’ Maphutha and Danie ‘Pitbull’ van Heerden did the unexpected. Instead of the traditional face-off both stopped, turned, and posed with a smile along with a feature on them in the event show guide.
A total of five athletes did not make weight, an occurrence judged harshly by the EFC organisation.
“It’s an athlete’s responsibility to make weight,” said EFC president Cairo Howarth. “Not making weight is an extremely poor reflection on themselves and the sport. Those that aren’t able to hit the limit inside the prescribed extra time given will be fined. Title hopes also take a knock as it’s not possible to challenge for a title in a weight division that an athlete has not technically qualified for.”
Van Heerden was overweight by 1kg, and has suffered a purse deduction in order to compete. Sizwe Mnikathi hit the scale at 67.90kg, and managed to cut down to 66.35kg, 350g over the featherweight limit. His opponent has accepted the discrepancy. Baldwin Mdlalose was 400g over, and has since qualified. Warren Allison was 900 grams over at weigh-in, and has since made weight. Mattew Buirski came in 1.3kg overweight, and suffered a purse deduction in order to compete.
EFC 31 Weigh-in results were as follows:
Bout 1: Featherweight bout
Sizwe Mnikathi 67.90kg (Cut down to 66.35kg, which his opponent has accepted)
Tumisang Madiba 65.15kg
Bout 2: Bantamweight bout
Marino Cutenda 61.00kg
Craig Ninow 60.10kg
Bout 3: Bantamweight bout
Lourens Botes 61.00kg
Baldwin Mdlalose 61.40kg (Subsequently made weight)
Bout 4: Middleweight bout
Warren Allison 84.90kg (Subsequently made weight)
Jason Culverwell 82.75kg
Bout 5: Featherweight bout
Leo Gloss 66.00kg
Tyson Chelin 65.60kg
Bout 6: Light heavyweight bout
Ian Visser 92.70kg
Donavin Hawkey 92.20kg
Bout 7: Featherweight bout
Brendon Katz 65.80kg
Nelson Feiteira 66.00kg
Bout 9: Bantamweight bout
Cedric Doyle 60.90kg
Matthew Buirski 62.30kg (Has suffered a purse deduction in order to compete)
Bout 10: Catchweight bout
Wesley Hawkey 68.00kg
Hanru Botha 67.80kg
Bout 11: Heavyweight bout
Elvis Moyo 117.50kg
Andrew van Zyl 118.80kg
Bout 11: Light heavyweight bout
Danie van Heerden 94.00kg (Has suffered a purse deduction in order to compete)
Tumelo Maphutha 91.55kg
Bout 12 : Bantamweight bout
Demarte Pena 60.80kg
Nkazimulo Zulu 60.50kg
EFC 31, presented by BetXchange.com, returns to the Coca-Cola Dome, Johannesburg, on Thursday 03 July 2014. Tickets on sale at www.computicket.com. Book your cinema ticket to all fights live and in HD at www.sterkinekor.com. Watch the entire event live, from anywhere on the globe, via online streaming at efcafrica.tv.