INTERNATIONAL Boxing Federation junior featherweight champion Takalani Ndlovu has winged his way to Mexico for the first defence of his title on Saturday night against Mexican Giovanni Caro in Palenque de la Ferla.
Promoter Branco Milenkovic said it will be 30 year-old Ndlovu's first fight after his sterling victory over respected Canadian Steve Molitor for the title earlier in the year.
"I took a big gamble when I tempted long-time champion Molitor to South Africa with a R2-million purse offer to come up against Ndlovu," said Milenkovic.
"Everyone said I was wasting the money because Takalani had no chance of winning.
"Ndlovu's brilliant victory over Molitor is now history as it has enabled us to secure a lucrative purse for him in the forthcoming fight in Mexico."
Milenkovic said there had been offers from Russia and Thailand received for Ndlovu to make the voluntary defence of his title.
"In weighing up all the factors, the Mexican offer seemed the best at this time for a number of reasons," he said.
Caro, ranked 16th in the IBO ratings, had already suffered a defeat against another South African, Simpiwe Vetyeka, in a WBC title eliminator, and this augured well for Ndlovu retaining his IBF crown.
"An impressive performance against Caro could mean a money-spinning unification title fight for Ndlovu," Milenkovic said.
Milenkovic added that it had been some time since a South African had been involved in a high-profile unification title contest, and a match-up with Arce would be a feather in the cap of the country's boxing.
"The IBF and the WBO are also two of the respected boxing organisations. This would add to the stature of the mooted Arce-Ndlovu match-up," said Milenkovic. "But it's always dangerous running ahead of yourself in sport and Ndlovu will first have to deal with Caro if all our best laid plans are not to receive a jarring setback.
"It's always a great test for a boxer's mettle when he fights outside his own country, but we remain confident."
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