By Ron Jackson
South Africa’s Ali Funeka hopes to get his career back on track after his stoppage loss against Jeff Horn in December last year when he challenges Samuel Vargas from Colombia for the WBA/NABA welterweight title at the Brampton Powerade Centre in Toronto, Canada on Saturday. The 39-year-old Funeka (39-6-3, 30 KOs) was smashed to defeat in six rounds by Jeff Horn who won the WBO welterweight belt in his next fight when he outpointed Manny Pacquiao. However, Funeka had Horn on the canvas before the stoppage.
Vargas, 28, who fights out of Toronto made his pro debut in February 2010 and has racked up a record of 27-3-1, 14 KOs.
He won the WBA/NABA title in May 2016 when he outpointed Juan Armando Garcia (15-3-2) over ten rounds and in his next fight was stopped by Danny Garcia in seven rounds. In March this year he retained the WBA/NABA title against Armando Robles (31-5-2) and in his most recent fight two months later he stopped Marco Antonio Robles (30-10-1) in the fifth round.
The last time Funeka, a three-time world challenger, fought in Canada he was on the wrong end of a highly controversial decision against Joan Guzman in in Quebec City in 2009.
Vargas who has a 45% knockout ratio goes into the fight as the favorite against the veteran South African.