Province packs a punch

2011-07-02 20:12

Eastern Cape continues to dominate, standing out as the province with the most national boxing champions in South ­Africa.

Of the 15 champions in 17 divisions, Eastern Cape has six titleholders.

Only two weight classes, the junior heavyweight and junior middleweight, are vacant.

Kingpins in this province are junior welterweight Sikhulile Sidzumo, junior featherweight Macbute Sinyabi, bantamweight Phumzile Matyila, ­junior bantamweight Miniyakhe ­Sityatha, flyweight Xolani Sifama and junior flyweight Luzuko Siyo. ­

Knockout artist Sinyabi is arguably the hardest-punching fighter in the country.

It is also amazing that Eastern Cape has a junior welterweight titleholder as it has always had the reputation of being influential in the smaller divisions.

The second leading provinces are KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo with two champions apiece.

KwaZulu-Natal’s champions are heavyweight Wiseman Dlomo and middleweight Chris Buthelezi.

Limpopo has Thompson Mokwana in the lightweight division and ­Godfrey Nzimande in the junior lightweight category.

Gauteng, which has in the past sent a chill down the spine of rival provinces, has only one titleholder, light heavyweight Tshepang Mohale.

Incidentally, Mohale is one of two boxers who have recently vacated their crowns voluntarily. He gave up his middleweight crown and Chris van Heerden gave up the welterweight one.

Free State boasts one champion – mini flyweight Tshepo Lefele.

Mpumalanga, North West, Northern Cape and Western Cape are the only provinces without champions.

Eastern Cape’s ascendancy authenticates the thought that it is indeed the home of boxing. The locality has always captured the attention of the fighting fraternity with its distinct champions.

They include junior lightweight Nkosana “Happyboy” Mgxagi, bantamweights Cyril “Old Bones” Adams and Welile “Ali” Nkosinkulu, and flyweight Mzukisi Skweyiya.

The province’s legendary world champions include junior featherweights Vuyani “The Beast” Bungu and Welcome “The Hawk” Ncita, ­bantamweight Mbulelo “The Silent Slayer” Botile, junior flyweight Zolani Petelo and junior flyweight Nkosinathi “Mabere” Joyi.

Bungu is the only South African fighter to successfully defend a world title (International Boxing Federation) 13 times.

Botile was once regarded and rated best bantamweight in the world, pound-for-pound, by the reputable Ring Magazine.

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