Boxers battle it out

2016-03-02 06:00
THE World Boxing Federation (WBF) Intercontinental Junior Welterweight fighters Frans Ramabulo (left) and Nkululeko Mhlongo faced off in a bout on Friday (26/02). Mhlongo was victorious. Photo: Boipelo Mere

THE World Boxing Federation (WBF) Intercontinental Junior Welterweight fighters Frans Ramabulo (left) and Nkululeko Mhlongo faced off in a bout on Friday (26/02). Mhlongo was victorious. Photo: Boipelo Mere

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FOR many years, Alex Moshodi worked hard to see his boxing dream become a reality.

Since the beginning – in the Itsoseng Township, Lichtenburg, in 1976 – Moshodi has trained and coached youngsters to become professional boxers.

Moshodi, who also boxed professionally, today heads a boxing club in the Kanana Township in Orkney, Klerksdorp. This is the same place where he lived as a seven-year-old boy.

The equally hard working Matshidiso “The Wasp” Mokebisi walked down the streets of the Namahadi Township in Kroonstad, desperate to locate the training hall where the Kid Spider Boxing Club held its practice.

When she found it, she waltzed in and announced to coach Spider Moeketsi that she had come to join the club.

The coach was hesitant, but remembered that female boxing had just been allowed in the country and the world over.

“It was amusing at first, but during training, the 14-year-old girl held her own against the boys, who were tougher, and I ended up nicknaming her ‘The Wasp’, ” said Moeketsi. It is now history that, since turning professional, this Kroonstad-born girl has competed in ten fights, of which she won four, drew one and lost five.

Both Jimmy Hummel and Mokebisi found themselves facing tough opponents in a Kimberley bout that was held in Kimberley on Friday (26/02).

TK Promotions, owned by Tshele Kometsi, brought a bevy of fighters to the Northern Cape’s capital city to challenge one another in different weight classes.

Hummel faced the tough as a tick Lerato Dlamini from Welkom, who disposed of Hummel in just two rounds. Dlamini had in the first and second round unleashed a powerful right hook, which saw Hummel kissing the canvas twice. It was all over in the second round.

Prior to the Hummel and Dlamini duel, Mokebisi had stopped Natalia Banita when she too unleashed a hook that dropped Banita, who had looked the better fighter of the two.

According to Mokebisi, it was the third time that she and Banita had met in a boxing challenge. Banita had beaten her twice.

“This time” said Mokebisi, “it feels like sweet revenge”.

She is now a World Boxing Federation (WBF) bantam weight champion. She has gone unchallenged in the South African Junior Weight class.

Apart from these two bouts, there were four other fights.

The fight to determine the title holder of the WBF Africa Junior Lightweight class was fought between Koos Sibiya and Ashley Dlamini. The crowd favourite, Sibiya, won the fight.

The WBF Intercontinental Junior Welterweight fight between Frans Ramabulo and Nkululeko Mhlongo was the most entertaining of all.

The lanky Mhlongo kept everyone on tenterhooks as he displayed his unconventional, but entertaining, style. Although Mhlongo was sluggish, he punched hard and ducked impressively. At one point, Mhlongo drew laughter from the crowd as he fought with his right hand behind his back for almost three minutes. Mhlongo’s hard punches saw Ramabulo’s corner throwing in the towel.

The fights between Sibiya and Ashley Dlamini, and Ramabulo and Mhlongo, were broadcast live on SABC2.

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