Prize fighters for Macufe

2016-09-14 06:00
BOXING promoter Lebohang Mahoko (centre) with Free State boxing pair Matsoaki Moselesele (left) and Themba "Doctor" Ntsele.

BOXING promoter Lebohang Mahoko (centre) with Free State boxing pair Matsoaki Moselesele (left) and Themba "Doctor" Ntsele.

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A HOST of Free State professional boxers are set to make a long-awaited return in the ringside when featuring in the Mangaung African Cultural Festival (Macufe) boxing showdown.

It is pencilled in for Sunday, 2 October, in Bloemfontein with no less than 20 boxers expected in action.

It is “local is lekker” indeed with Free State boxers in the majority. Ten in total of the Free State fighters are expected to showcase their talent.

The showdown is organised by local promoter Lebo Mahoko of the Dream Team Gym.

Mahoko gave the reason to opting for more home-grown boxers. He said the main objective was to promote local talent and to nurture local fighters.

Home-grown boxers featured are the Bloemfontein-based crew of Frans Ramabodu, Nico van der Merwe and Themba “Doctor” Ntsele, Matsoaki Moselesele (Welkom), Tello Dithebe (Kroonstad), Thabiso Moorosi (Botshabelo), Seapi Mokoena, Lerato Dlamini, Sylvester Manyakalle and Caiphus Thomas.

Mahoko coined the idea to stage a boxing tournament as part of Macufe to appease the boxing fraternity who are forever starving for some action.

“Boxing fans that are starving for action for the better part of the year have been waiting for this tournament and are guaranteed exciting action this time with three title bouts,” said Mahoko.

The tournament’s theme is The Night of Redemption.

“The theme resonates with the boxers’ aspirations to win the championship while others look to revive their careers after a period of inactivity,’’ said Mahoko.

The stakes are high with three title bouts and seven supporting fights in one night.

Championship fights, which are the main attraction, will see the Free State boxing trio Ntsele, Dithebe and Ramabodu slug it out against opponents from Gauteng and Eastern Cape over ten and 12 rounds.

Former South Africa flyweight champion Ntsele will face old foe Xola Sifama who he dethroned in 2011.

The Eastern Cape fighter Sifama will be looking for revenge against Ntsele. This time around the two will battle it out for the World Boxing Federation intercontinental junior bantamweight championship.

Dithebe will be looking to win his first-ever prestigious crown and he eyes the World Boxing Federation featherweight.

He is billed to square-off against Rhoviwa Maema over ten rounds to realise his elusive dream.

Ramabodu is no exception. He too eyes the South African junior middleweight crown and in his quest to conquer the champions he is bound to see off contender Nkululeko Mhlongo from Gauteng.

Since its inception in 2011, it grew in stature nationally, attracting interest from promoters outside the province.

The highlights have seen a gruelling battle between two of the Free State’s finest, Moselesele and Ntsele, in 2012 and 2013, with the latter emerging victorious.

There were also sad incidents like the tragic death of Anele Makhwelo after a championship fight against Ntsele in 2011.

Makhwelo died from head injuries sustained. The pair battled for the South African flyweight title then held by Ntsele.

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