Ex-champ Deejay Kriel continues comeback tour Saturday against Jafet Amukwa
Deejay Kriel believes he can still win a world title belt.
The former world titleholder at 105 pounds returns to action Saturday night, facing Jafet Amukwa at the Booysens Boxing Club in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The 10-round flyweight fight will headline a Boxing 5 Promotions card that will stream live and free on Vision View (1 p.m. ET/ 10 a.m. PT).
Kriel (17-2-1, 8 knockouts), who resides in Boksburg, South Africa, won the IBF world strawweight title in February 2019, dropping Carlos Licona three times during the final round to win by knockout. Entering the last round, Kriel was losing by a wide margin on two of the judges’ scorecards before pulling out the knockout win.
The reign was short-lived as Kriel vacated the IBF title later that year, citing he was no longer able to make 105 pounds. Kriel would challenge then-IBF junior flyweight titleholder Felix Alvarado in January 2021, and although he gave a good account of himself, would get dropped twice in losing in the 10th round.
The 28-year-old returned to action on December 9, defeating countryman Thembelani Noshe by majority decision.
Colin Nathan, who manages and trains Kriel, is confident his charge can make a run at any of the world titleholders.
“Depending on how he looks tomorrow, we’re looking to get him back into the ratings at 112 pounds,” Nathan told The Ring Friday morning.
Amukwa (9-4-1, 3 KOs), who resides in Windhoek, Namibia, defeated Festus Simon by decision in his last bout on April 1. The 36-year-old has lost twice to unbeaten Fillemon Nghutenanye.
Another fighter who is managed and trained by Nathan will also fight Saturday night.
Fringe featherweight contender Lerato Dlamini of Linksfield, South Africa will square off against Tanzania’s Hamidu Kwata in a 10-round bout.
Dlamini (18-2, 10 KOs) lost a close unanimous decision to James Dickens in his last bout on October 15.
Aside from the win over former world titleholder Simpiwe Vetyeka, Dlamini has defeated five unbeaten fighters, thus far, in his pro career.
The 23-year-old Kwata (13-5-2, 7 KOs) has won his last three fights since losing by knockout to Yanga Sigqibo in December 2021.
Six more fights will round out the card, which will also feature amateur fights.
Francisco A. Salazar has written for The Ring since October 2013 and has covered boxing in Southern California and abroad since 2000. Francisco also covers boxing for the Ventura County (California) Star newspaper. He can be reached at [email protected]