Ana­conda’s all set to go global

SA’s record-break­ing fe­male ban­tamweight champ wants to swap her lo­cal ti­tle for in­ter­na­tional glory

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

Bukiwe “Ana­conda” Non­ina be­lieves she has dis­posed of all her op­po­nents in South Africa and is now ready to give up her na­tional cham­pi­onship belt for an al­to­gether larger as­pi­ra­tion – fight­ing for world crowns.

Since turn­ing pro­fes­sional in 2011, Non­ina has con­quered the lo­cal ring with aplomb, hav­ing won the SA fe­male ban­tamweight ti­tle and de­fend­ing it suc­cess­fully a record five times.

This is a unique feat in lo­cal women’s box­ing – no other fighter has reached such a mile­stone.

It’s no won­der Ana­conda clinched the Fe­male Boxer of the Year award at the Box­ing SA Awards, held in Dur­ban in KwaZulu-Natal three weeks ago, for her out­stand­ing per­for­mance in the ring last year. It earned her a tro­phy and R15 000.

Now the 24-year-old wants to take her glory to a higher level by giv­ing up her na­tional ti­tle and gain­ing an in­ter­na­tional one.

Ana­conda may just re­alise that dream and earn a world cham­pi­onship belt on March 31, when she meets Ger­many’s Ale­sia Graf at Khayelit­sha Hall in Cape Town.

They will ex­change blows for the va­cant World Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion (WBF) fe­male ban­tamweight di­a­dem. Non­ina’s drive to win the world ti­tle is ap­par­ent dur­ing her train­ing ses­sions at the Bronx Gym in Hill­brow in Jo­han­nes­burg, where she trains daily as part of her prepa­ra­tions for the epic bat­tle. We meet her at the venue. Be­ing the only woman there, she is easy to spot. The gym wel­comes pro­fes­sion­als as well as or­di­nary fit­ness fa­nat­ics. It is in her quick re­flexes and light­ning-fast punches while shad­ow­box­ing, in par­tic­u­lar, that one sees

PHO­TOS: TEBOGO LETSIE

FO­CUSED Bukiwe Non­ina says she will be in good shape for her up­com­ing fight

SET­TING HER SIGHTS ON SUC­CESS Ana­conda in train­ing at Bronx Gym. She re­lo­cated to Jozi for her up­com­ing bout

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