Mabuza out to Silence Rafael, while Jandaeng plans to show Juan Manuel he's not your average Terdsak!


Mabuza out to Silence Rafael, while Jandaeng plans to show Juan Manuel he's not your average Terdsak!

They are rough, talented, extremely confident, hard-hitting southpaws. Each has 15 career knockouts and only one loss. One will make his third United States start; the other, his fourth. Both fell short in the biggest fight of their careers.

Terdsak “Pit Bull’’ Jandaeng and Silence “African Spice” Mabuza, however, are quietly determined to make amends in dramatic fashion on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2006, when they appear in both halves of a world championship doubleheader (SHOWTIME, 9 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the west coast) as the 20th anniversary of SHOWTIME CHAMPIONSHIP BOXING continues in sensational style.

 Jandaeng (24-1, 15 KOs), the World Boxing Organization (WBO) No. 1 featherweight contender, will face former two-time world champion/WBO No. 2 contender, Juan Manuel Marquez (44-3-1, 33 KOs), for the WBO interim 126-pound title in the main event. The winner of Jandaeng-Marquez will be the mandatory challenger for WBO champion Scott Harrison. In the telecast’s opening bout, International Boxing Federation (IBF) No. 1 bantamweight contender, Mabuza (19-1, 15 KOs), will box a rematch against defending IBF and International Boxing Organization (IBO) 118-pound titleholder and Juan’s younger brother, Rafael (35-3, 31 KOs). Rafael will make his seventh title defense.

Gary Shaw Productions, LLC, will promote the world championship doubleheader from the outdoor sports pavilion at the MontBleu Resort Casino and Spa at Stateline, Nev.

 Jandaeng is an aggressive-minded 25 year old who has won six straight since losing to former WBO 122-pound titlist Joan Guzman (23-0, 17 KOs) in a WBO featherweight elimination bout Aug. 26, 2005, in White Plains, N.Y. Despite going down once and dropping a 12-round decision by 117-110 and 119-108 twice, the Thai boxer showed class, grit and determination as he battled Guzman for 36 minutes.

 “Marquez is not as good (as me) and would lose to Guzman,” Jandaeng said. “Guzman has quicker hand speed. He dominated me only because he hit and ran away. Marquez is there to be hit. I will have no problem knocking him out. I saw a tape of his last fight. He looked old and sloppy in his punches.’’

 Kokiet Panichayarom, who manages Jandaeng, is confident his charge can cause an upset.

 “My boxer really has a great chance of winning,” he said. “He is youthful and hungry. He has never been so determined. He has put his whole heart into winning the world title for his country. Jandaeng wants to become Thailand’s next world champion.”


 Jandaeng was born in Chumphon, Thailand, and fights out of Bangkok. His father was a farmer and boxing trainer, while his brother is a professional flyweight boxer.

“I started boxing at age 14 and had more than 100 amateur fights,” Jandaeng said. “I was a Thai national champion and Muay Thai contender.’’

A tough, crafty guy who lives to move and is an excellent body puncher, Jandaeng turned pro at 22 on Aug. 1, 2003, in Bangkok. All but two of his 25 fights have taken place in his home country.

In his fifth start, Jandaeng captured the WBO Asia Pacific title for the first time. A career-opening 18-fight winning streak ended against Guzman. Making his stateside debut, Jandaeng performed valiantly against a highly regarded, popular fighter. While Guzman was serenaded during and after his entrance to the ring by the cheers of his faithful fans, Jandaeng made his entrance and received his introduction from the ring announcer in almost complete silence.

Still, Jandaeng had the look of the steadfast warrior, as he entered hostile territory with full knowledge of the odds stacked against him. Although he did not claim the victory, Jandaeng found solace in the fact that he executed a gutsy and dangerous fight plan to the best of his ability.

 Trained by Alberto “Bobby’’ Villaver, Jandaeng has remained active since the loss to Guzman with six bouts in seven months.  The first of those contests saw the Thai fighter win back the WBO Asia Pacific title he had vacated. He is 3-0 in 2006, including a 12-round unanimous decision over Pedro Malco in his last start on May 10 in Thailand. The bout represented Jandaeng’s 13th successful WBO AP title defense in his reigns as champion.

In his second U.S. outing, Jandaeng won an eight-round split decision (78-73 twice and 74-77) over Carlos Contreras on Oct. 29, 2005, in Tucson, Ariz. Jandaeng was cut over his right eye in the second, but kept the contest close. The once-beaten fighter also was penalized one point for punching to the back of the head in the fifth and was cut under his left eye in the eighth.

The pride of Thailand received the nickname “Pit Bull” because he consistently finished off his opponents early at the onset of his career.

“Jandaeng fights like a pit bull,” said his manager Kokiet Panichayarom. “His body is like a pit bull. He has a vicious body attack with both hands. He is relentless. He has no fears. He fights in the left-handed stance, but can easily switch to right handed.”

South Africa has produced a number of world-class bantamweights, including Willie Smith, who in the 1920s defeated Teddy Baldock in what was billed as a world title fight, Olympic gold medal winner, Laurie Stevens, and 118-pound world champion, Viccie Toweel, and his brother, Willie.

 There also was Arnold Taylor, who won the World Boxing Association (WBA) bantamweight belt, and Jake Tuli, a No. 1 contender who never received a world title opportunity. There were others, but the aforementioned are the ones most often noted when discussing South African’s all-time top boxers.

While Mabuza has captured the IBO 118-pound crown, he has not yet earned the right to be included in that elite group. Yet, many feel that he has the ability and potential to become the greatest boxer South Africa has produced. Factor in his charm, charisma and ability and one can see why Mabuza is regarded as something special.
"I am proud of my accomplishments, but I have a long way to go," Mabuza said. "This is the first step. I earned the right to fight Marquez again because I won an elimination fight. I could have fought others, but I wanted to fight Marquez so we could finish what we started last time.

“Marquez is the top bantamweight in the world, but I feel good about my chances.''

In their first fight on Nov. 5, 2005, in Stateline, Nev., on SHOWTIME, Marquez retained his title with a fourth-round TKO. The champion scored a knockdown late in the opening round that put Mabuza flat on his back. That was the first time Mabuza had been knocked down as an amateur or pro. However, a determined Mabuza got up and rallied in the second, but was cut under his left eye and over his right eye in the third. The referee stopped the fight on the cuts at 2:08 of the fourth.

“I got caught with a good shot, but I came back strong,” Mabuza said. “The cuts were the result of unintentional headbutts. I wanted a rematch so badly. I need to fight Marquez again.’’

The classy, deeply religious, soft-spoken Mabuza was born in Johannesburg. He grew up in the East Rand's Tsakane Township in South Africa with 12 relatives, who lived under one roof and survived on just his grandmother's pension grant.

“I was never raised by my father,” Mabuza said. “My father was never there. I was raised by my mother and my grandmother. My mother worked as a maid.’’

Mabuza lost a sister and a brother in the space of a month in late 2000 and early 2001. “They were both involved in car accidents, different car accidents,’’ he said.

 Mabuza was named Silence when his grandmother ordered his arguing parents to be quiet after his birth. "She wanted silence in the house," he said. As a child, he had always shown a natural ability to defend himself, but it was not until he was discovered by a coach at the Tsakane Community Hall that the youngster begin to consider boxing as a possible livelihood.  He started to fight in 1991.

“I never wanted to be a boxer and did not intend to pursue boxing as a career,’’ Mabuza said. “I  grew up in the ghetto, and there was a lot of crime. I just did it to defend myself against gangsters. Before I started boxing, I was beaten up several times.

“Boxing was always just a hobby. I was a soccer player and took it very seriously. I was a good striker and often think I got in the wrong profession. I believe I am a better footballer than a boxer.”

Once he realized he had the skills to prosper inside of the ring, Mabuza opted out of street fighting and focused on an amateur career. The phenomenal natural talent was mostly untouchable in  475 amateur bouts, and won countless tournaments.

“I started boxing in 1991,’’ Mabuza said. “I had plenty of international experience and fought all over the world. In 1995, I went to the World Championships in Germany. I went to the Commonwealth Games. I was No. 1 for the 1996 Olympic Games, but I lost in the African qualification quarterfinals.’’

After going 463-12 in the amateurs, Mabuza made his pro debut at age 23 on Nov. 28, 1999. The 2001 South African Boxing Prospect of the Year captured the International Boxing Organization (IBO) bantamweight crown when he bludgeoned Colombian Jose Sanjuanelo with a battering ram-like right hand en route to a sixth-round TKO on March 2, 2002, in Brakpan, South Africa.

The IBO "world" title fight was noteworthy because it came in Mabuza's 11th start, which was three faster than the country's previous quickest (Toweel in his 14th bout nearly 42 years earlier).

In his U.S. debut, Mabuza improved to 13-0 and retained his IBO belt the first time with a fifth-round TKO over former world title challenger Javier "Pedro'' Torres on Nov. 9, 2002, in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Mabuza earned the rematch against Marquez in his last start by registering a lopsided 12-round decision over southpaw Ricardo Vargas in an IBF eliminator April 20, 2006, in New York. The winner scored a knockdown in the ninth en route to winning 120-107 and 117-110 twice.

While prizefighting is his profession and soccer may be his first love, it is music which Mabuza enjoys most of all.

"Music is my motivation," Mabuza said. "It is what lifts me spiritually. In the beginning, nobody taught me how to play the piano. I first saw it being played in church and was told what the chords could do. I just started playing. Singing also is my passion. I am very proactive in church. Many times, I serve as chorus leader. I love doing that kind of thing.’’