On Thursday, Banner Promotions announced that they had signed a co-promotional deal with Golden Glove Promotion for lightweight contender Xolisani Ndongeni of South Africa. While Banner is not a player at the level of Top Rank or Golden Boy, it has been an extremely relevant promotion over the past two decades and a dominant presense in the Northeast.
It has carved out this place for itself in the Wild West world of boxing by hustling around the globe and signing promising, and exciting, international fighters like Ndongeni. They brought all-action Acelino Freitas from Brazil at the turn of the century. More recently, they’ve imported the “Siberian Rocky” Ruslan Provodnikov and lightweight contender Petr Petrov.
Ndongeni has yet to fight outside of South Africa, but since turning professional five years ago, he’s remained undefeated over his first 21 fights, with 11 KOs. Fighting every three months and staying unbeaten in the rough-and-tumble South African boxing scene is an indication of solid potential. He became the South African super featherweight champion in just his 10th fight. He later captured the South African and Pan African lightweight titles.
In a press release issued earlier today by Banner Promotions, Ndongeni was clearly excited about the direction his career is taking: “Every boxer who dreams of the big time dreams of America…I have outgrown South Africa, where I have fought and defeated all the contenders. I’m ready to fight anyone.”
Rodney Berman of Golden Gloves said of Ndogeni “Xolisani has two things going for him: a hunger to succeed borne from an impoverished upbringing, and his natural fighting ability. He’s very unorthodox but somehow makes it work.”
Banner Promotions President Artie Pelullo stated “We are excited to get Xolisani in a major fight.” A natural pairing for Xolisani would be Petrov, who is ranked in the top 10 by the WBA and WBO and No. 11 by the WBC. But expect Ndongeni to get matched against somebody who can make him look good first, in order to build more interest.