‘Don Queen’ gets ladies to trade punches

2011-08-13 18:35

Underneath her dazzling and deceptively fragile looks there is a steel will to continue nurturing women fighters.

Thus Mbali “Don Queen” Zantsi, South Africa’s most distinguished female boxing promoter, is back after an almost three-year lull to resume her mission.

The fight fraternity is unaware that she started using female fighters as curtain-raisers while they were still campaigning in the amateur ranks. She was courageous enough to rope them into her shows when no one had heard of them.

Zantsi had a dream of fostering women, sticking to her guns regardless of scathing criticism from detractors who believed she was “wasting time by featuring women in preliminary bouts”.

Her dream of making giants out of women has partly been fulfilled. Her most outstanding protege, Noni Tenge, currently stands head and shoulders above everyone in the ring.

She shone when annexing the International Boxing Federation world welterweight crown from New Zealand’s Daniela Smith two months ago. The girls that have come through Zantsi’s hands include Unathi Myekeni, the World Boxing Federation junior featherweight champion.

“I was castigated by doubting Thomases when engaging girls as curtain-raisers in my shows,” recalls Showtime Boxing Promotion’s boss Zantsi.

“I kept a deaf ear and Tenge and Myekeni eventually vindicated me.”

She points out that a lot of promoters have somersaulted and are now jostling with each other for the services of these young women.

She occasionally incurred financial losses in negotiations that backfired while promoting boxing matches.

Zantsi was also sabotaged by “mysterious people” when boxing gloves inexplicably vanished before shows started.

In making her comeback Zantsi refuels her dream of creating women fighters by promoting a unique all-female boxing tournament at the Kempton Park Civic Centre on August 27.

This will be her first show after going into oblivion while “dedicating my time to bringing up my then newly-born son, Modimooratile”.

She is returning to boxing despite previously experiencing disappointments because she says she loves the game perhaps more than anything.

In the main bout of her upcoming tournament Julia Tshabalala faces Lillian Molala for the vacant national middleweight crown.

In the main supporting bout Mapule Ngubeni takes on Kholoso Ndobayini over six rounds in the middleweight class while Rita Mrwebi confronts Shyvhon Patterson over six rounds in the welterweight category.

Rider Muleba gets entangled with Ntombozuko Nonina over four rounds in the junior featherweight division.

In a flyweight bout scheduled for four rounds Tshifiwa Nongwevhela comes up against Nyelisani Thaghambega.

“I am thrilled to be coming back in Women’s Month and my goal is to entice more women to boxing and ultimately emulate the great American promoter, Don King,” a confident Zantsi concludes.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.