Tenge longs to floor First Lady of box­ing

CityPress - - Sport - PULE MOKHINE pmokhine@city­press.co.za

Noni “She Bee Stin­gin’” Tenge says she won’t rest un­til she gets a crack at the undis­puted world wel­ter­weight crown held by Nor­way’s Ce­cilia Braekhus.

Tenge (34) con­firmed her su­pe­ri­or­ity by beat­ing Julie Tsha­bal­ala by unan­i­mous de­ci­sion to lift the va­cant World Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion (WBF) wel­ter­weight di­a­dem at the South­ern Sun Ho­tel in Pre­to­ria last Fri­day.

Her vic­tory took her a step closer to a dream match-up with Braekhus (34), who holds the World Box­ing Coun­cil, World Box­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (WBA), In­ter­na­tional Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion (IBF) and World Box­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion crowns. She is nick­named The First Lady.

The Mdantsane, East Lon­don-based fighter was im­pres­sive against Tsha­bal­ala. Tenge’s vic­tory crowned a mem­o­rable evening on which Show­time Pro­mo­tions boss Mbali “Don Queen” Zantsi staged an all-fe­male tour­na­ment.

“I have won al­most all the big fights on of­fer. The time is now ripe for me to have a crack at the ul­ti­mate cham­pi­onship cur­rently held by the world’s su­per­cham­pion,” said Tenge.

Tenge be­came the coun­try’s first fe­male pugilist to lift a third world cham­pi­onship.

She pre­vi­ously held the same WBF di­a­dem be­fore win­ning the IBF belt, which she sur­ren­dered in 2012 with­out de­fend­ing it due to her pro­moter not se­cur­ing TV cov­er­age.

Tenge boosted her chances of chal­leng­ing Braekhus by cap­tur­ing the in­terim WBA strap against Do­mini­can Repub­lic fighter Oxan­dia Castillo at the Ori­ent Theatre in Mdantsane in June last year.

The num­ber one con­tender spot for Braekhus’ crown is cur­rently va­cant. This makes Tenge, sec­ond in con­tention, the manda­tory chal­lenger. She Bee Stin­gin’, who was in­ac­tive for more than a year, said she was look­ing for­ward to beat­ing Braekhus and then re­tir­ing.

Tenge is a full-time stu­dent at Wal­ter Sisulu Univer­sity in East Lon­don, where she is study­ing to­wards a diploma in sports man­age­ment.

“At least I will have some­thing to fall back on when my box­ing ca­reer is over.”

She has a pro­fes­sional record of 14 wins and one de­feat in 15 pro­fes­sional fights.

Zantsi said Tenge would prob­a­bly be kept ac­tive by de­fend­ing her WBF ti­tle out­side of the coun­try against an over­seas op­po­nent be­fore go­ing for the big one.

PHOTO: PATRICK KUKARD

HAPPY CHAMP Noni Tenge with her two world ti­tles

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