Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

La Sombra vs. The Mongoose

By awoodall
Wednesday, August 27th, 2008 at 2:40 pm in Uncategorized.

JULIO ZARATE IN IBF TITLE ELIMINATOR BOUT THIS FRIDAY FACES JEFFREY MATHEBULA IN SOUTH AFRICA: Julio “LA SOMBRA” Zarate is in South Africa this week to face Jeffrey “THE MONGOOSE” Mathebula in an IBF Super Bantamweight Title Eliminator bout this Friday night, August 29th. The Zarate/Mathebula twelve round bout headlines the Branco Sports Productions card at the Carousel Casino just outside of Pretoria in Hammanskraal.  Zarate brings a record of 26-4-1 (16KO’s) into battle, while Mathebula sports a record of 21-1-2 (12KO’s). Zarate is ranked #3 by the IBF and #6 by the WBA, while Mathebula is ranked # 9 by the IBF. Mathebula is also world ranked #9 at featherweight by the WBC and WBA.

Riding a five bout winning streak, the 33 year old Zarate is keenly aware of the importance of this fight. “I’m grateful for the opportunity. It was a long flight over here from Mexico but I feel terrific. We had a great camp in Mexico , training and sparring with Juan Carlos Salgado,” said Zarate. A win over Mathebula on Friday night will ensure a title shot at Canada ’s Steve Molitor, the IBF Super Bantamweight Champion who is defending his world title against Ceferino Dario Labarda on the same day in Ontario , Canada .

About Mathebula, Zarate said, “He’s a tough fighter who has not lost in about five years, but he’s fought all of his fights here in South Africa . I’m sure he’ll have a lot of fans on his side, but it’s just me and him in the ring when the bell sounds.” Mathebula will be coming down in weight having fought his last five fights at the featherweight limit while Zarate is staying at super bantamweight, the highest division he has fought at in his eleven year career.  Zarate has won his last five bouts, the last three by knockout, most recently stopping Vernie Torres in the fourth round at the Doubletree Hotel in Ontario , California on November 2, 2007. In his last bout Mathebula stopped Yoshinori Miyata in the eighth round on February 22nd for the WBC International Featherweight Title at the Carousel Casino.   

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