The much-awaited inaugural Boxing Premier League (BPL) was officially launched in East London last night.
The list of 16 boxers set to compete for the ultimate prize of R1 million was also revealed and Eastern Cape-based pugilists dominate the roster.
Of the 16 expected to compete in four weight classes, eight are from the country’s boxing hub where most of the fights will be staged.
Boxing SA (BSA) director of operations Loyiso Mtya defended the Eastern Cape dominance of the list, saying it’s a province “with the most boxers, and most boxing events happen in this province”.
“It’s not favouritism and, besides, boxers were selected according to their appropriateness for the BPL,” he said.
Mtya revealed that the BPL shows will only be promoted by development promoters, a decision that will see big guns such as Rodney Berman, Branco Milenkovic and Mzi Mnguni playing no part in the league.
This decision was a result of BSA’s focus on giving opportunities and exposure to those who have been driving the development agenda, said Mtya.
Although female boxers will not be taking part in BPL’s first season, every show will have at least two female bouts on the undercard.
The date for the first BPL show has not been finalised yet, but Mtya hinted that it may be June 21 and the league is set to run for nine months.
Here are the BPL boxers in the four weight divisions:
» Flyweight – Mzuvukile Magwaca (WC), Lwandile Sityatha (EC), Makazole Tete (EC), Mfundo Gwayana (EC).
» Bantamweight – Innocent Mantengu (KZN), Thabo Sishwana (EC), Toto Helebe (WC), Cleutus Mbele (GP).
» Featherweight – Mcbute Sinyabi (EC), Oscar Chauke (LP), Lwando Molwana (WC), Aphiwe Mboyiya (EC).
» Lightweight – Vusumzi Tyatyeka (WC), Vusumzi Bokolo (EC), Grant Fourie (GP), Xolisani Ndongeni (EC).