Major boxing bill will bring back metro’s lost glory

2016-05-26 13:26
Boxers Anelisa Gungqisa (left) and Mziwoxolo Ndwayana flank Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Sport and Recreation Director Charmaine Williams during the media briefing. Standing on the far right is Municipal spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki who was the programme director.

Boxers Anelisa Gungqisa (left) and Mziwoxolo Ndwayana flank Nelson Mandela Bay Metro Sport and Recreation Director Charmaine Williams during the media briefing. Standing on the far right is Municipal spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki who was the programme director. (NCEBA DLADLA)

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NELSON Mandela Bay is working hard to bring back the glory days of boxing. The only city in the world named after former boxer, freedom fighter and an icon of peace and democracy Nelson Mandela, used to be the Mecca of boxing, and if professional boxing promoters had their way, ostensibly with the support of Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, those days could be brought back.  

This became evident during the press conference at Kwantu Towers in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday, 25 May to announce a major boxing tournament of seven exciting bouts by the association of local promoters at Lilian Ngoyi Indoor Sports Centre in Kwazakhele on Sunday, 29 May.

The tournament features two International title fights, a South African title fight plus four development bouts.

Department of Sport and Recreation Director, Charmaine Williams said the metro municipality sponsored  the fight with the tune of R500 000 because local promoters worked together as an association with one purpose – that of developing the sport once revered in the metro and giving hope and future to young local pugilists.

Williams said this was over and above the support the metro municipality was giving to local open boxing – which is boxing at amateur level - a feeder to professional boxing. 

A “touched” Mthunzi Mapitiza, Boxing South Africa (BSA) Nelson Mandela Bay Service Provider acknowledged the commitment of local promoters to the sport and the fact that they were paying exorbitant registration fees of R2 000 per annum to BSA while they were not necessarily making profit in promoting boxing.

He said, “They deserved a shot in the arm from the powers that be. With this kind of investment, in two to three years, boxing will return to its number spot in the province. I thank the municipality, not on behalf of these promoters, but for the young boxers who will find a purpose in life through the sport.”

Mapitiza bemoaned a number of boxers leaving these shores for greener pastures to other cities and provinces. The Buffalo City Municipality Metro for instance, benefited immensely from Nelson Mandela Metro boxers in the past. According to Mapitiza, that exodus would come to a halt, with this kind of gesture from the municipality.         

Speaking for Promoters Association, scribe Sibongile Nkebe thanked the municipality and promised to continue doing their utmost to ensure that boxing was returned to its former glory and that world champions were produced in this metro.

In the main bout, of match-maker Gladys “Noforty” Tsenene, Port Elizabeth’s Anelisa Gungqisa of Walmer Township is penciled in to face Eastern Cape Welterweight Champion Mziwoxolo Ndwayana of Grahamstown for the vacant World Boxing Federation (WBF) International title over 12 rounds. 

KwaNobuhle, Uitenhage’s Mfundo Mbengashe will square off against East London’s former South African Flyweight Champion Xola Sifama for the vacant WBF Africa Flyweight championship, also over 12 rounds while in what promises to be a grudge return fight between members of the fearer sex, South African Female Junior Lightweight champion Nomampondomise Xotyeni of KwaNobuhle will put her title on the line against challenger Nozipho Bell of Walmer over 10 rounds.

In the other fights, all over six rounds, Asanda Jacobs will fight Masixole Mabhuntsana; Simo Mbande versus Xolisa Kana; Thembani Okolo versus Ayanda Dlulani and Bulelani Jacobs versus Mziyanda Links.  

The fight starts at 2pm. Admission is R100 for adults and R50 for children.  

The weigh-in is at the same venue on Saturday at 2pm.  


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