Ndombassy and Salie revive old rivalry

Boxer Cristiano "Warrior of Faith" Ndombassy.
The 2019 Friday Night season kicks off at the iconic Castle of Good Hope on Friday January 25 with a humdinger of a fight between local favourites Cristiano “Warrior of Faith” Ndombassy and Johannes “The Pearl of Paarl” Salie.

These adversaries will collide in the ring with intentions of grabbing bragging rights.

The duo clashed before in 2017 in a contest that could have gone either way with the eventual winner being Ndombassy with a controversial late stoppage.

“I was not happy with the referee stopping the fight the way he did. I was dominating Cristiano and I believe this was the wrong call. I am looking forward to the 25th so that I can show I am still the best junior middleweight in Cape Town,” said Salie.

Ndombassy has switched camps and is now under the guidance of Emile Brice and joins a strong stable with the likes of Lunga Sitemela, Tony Mayala, and Aziz Kunert.

This bout will be his first outing under his new team and coach.

Ndombassy is a puncher with real power at junior middleweight and is arguably the favourite to win.

The match will provide the final showdown between these two fierce rivals to claim the title of “King” of the junior middleweight in the Mother City.

The remainder of the bill features former SA bantamweight champion Toto Helebe, who is from Gugulethu.

He is looking to get his career back on track after a number of challenges and inactivity.

Helebe rose to fame when he achieved the difficult task of going to East London to win the SA bantamweight title. Now in his 30s, he moves up to the featherweight division where he feels more comfortable.

Another notable fighter on the bill is the bright prospect Kunert who began boxing as a youth offender at the Drakenstein Prison, where training in the noble art was part of a rehabilitation programme for juvenile inmates.

In under two years as a professional boxer, he has ammased some solid victories and has already developed a strong Cape based following.

His is an inspirational story of how boxing has provided the discipline, life skills and a new exciting career as a professional athlete.

The Castle of Good Hope once again provides the setting to the event, where Kalakoda Promotions have entered into a strategic partnership with the Castle Control Board and the First Nations to use boxing as a platform for mediation, healing and social cohesion.

“The two events we have collaborated with Kalakoda demonstrated the power of sport and specifically boxing to bring people from all walks of life together. We are invested in positioning the Castle as a safe and inclusive space for all South Africans and these events play a pivotal role in realising this vision,” said Calvyn Gilefan CEO Castle Control Board.

The event will be broadcast live to 50 million homes on Kwesé Free Sport as well as through sublicence deals across the African continent.

The doors open at 6pm and tickets are available on Quicket.