Barely rested, Spider heads to Mexico to fight
Fresh from a third-round knockout victory over Ghanaian Prosper Ankrah at Emperors Palace last Wednesday, South African bantamweight kingpin Tshifhiwa "Atomic Spider" Munyai left South Africa on Tuesday night for a WBC title eliminator against Mexico’s Cristian Esquivel in Mexico City on Saturday night.
And while this particular “spider” may paradoxically find himself lured into a Mexican web for what is an unusual second contest in a matter of 10 days, Golden Gloves promoter Rodney Berman says the opportunity that has suddenly landed is “just too good for Munyai to turn down.
“The chance of earning a tilt at a prestigious WBC title does not come every day,” said Berman, “and the fight against Ankrah was little more than a sparring session — so it is not a case of over-exerting himself in a short space of time.”
Berman confirmed there are no rules regarding the period in which a boxer can fight a second time in a particular short space of time.
“It’s simply a matter of logic and common sense and the circumstances that prevail in each individual case,” added Berman.
“Had Munyai been involved in a tough, gruelling 10-rounder, we would not have suggested he takes on the Mexico City challenge.”
Travelling with the WBC’s sixth-ranked Munyai to Mexico is his trainer, Elias Tshabalala, and seasoned cornerman Harold Volbrecht, whose vast experience could prove invaluable in what will probably be a strange, partisan environment.
“It’s a fight of the unknown,” said Tshabalala shortly before the exploratory trio’s departure. “We know nothing about Esquivel and he knows nothing about us. And it’s a case of who learns quickest in summing up the other.”
Berman says Saturday’s fight is due to be televised on ESPN and therefore gives Munyai the golden opportunity of impressing a worldwide audience of several millions.