SA’s fe­male box­ers hailed

They are in charge and are chang­ing the face of box­ing

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

With August be­ing Women’s Month in South Africa, Box­ing SA (BSA) is de­lighted by the in­crease of fe­male pro­fes­sional box­ers in the past 16 years. The Box­ing Act, which was passed in 2001, al­lowed women to box pro­fes­sion­ally and be­come li­censees. BSA chair­per­son Mu­di­ta­mbi Ravele was one of the peo­ple who chal­lenged the pre­vi­ous act, which pro­hib­ited women from par­tic­i­pat­ing in box­ing.

BSA chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Tsholofelo Le­jaka said there were 1 998 fe­male li­censees across all prov­inces, 90 of whom were pro­fes­sional fight­ers.

The oth­ers in­clude man­agers, train­ers, of­fi­cials, sec­onds, agents, pro­mot­ers, match­mak­ers and ring an­nounc­ers.

“These have been a fruit­ful 16 years of fe­male pro­fes­sional box­ing. The in­crease in the num­ber of box­ers is an in­di­ca­tion that fe­male box­ing has grown rapidly,” said Le­jaka. There were no fe­male box­ers be­fore 2001. “BSA is de­lighted with the grow­ing num­ber of li­censees. The chal­lenge was that some of them found them­selves spar­ring with their male coun­ter­parts be­cause of the in­ad­e­quate num­ber of women train­ing in the gyms.”

Ravele said the BSA board made a res­o­lu­tion that women’s box­ing would be one of its flag­ship projects.

“At our work­shop in Dur­ban last year, we formed a women’s box­ing com­mis­sion that re­ports di­rectly to the board,” said Ravele.

“The mis­sion is to in­crease women’s par­tic­i­pa­tion and also elim­i­nate chal­lenges that in­hibit women from tak­ing part in box­ing.”

She said a box­ing show to mark the an­niver­sary was be­ing planned.

De­tails will be dis­closed once a pro­moter finalises the bill.

A look at the cur­rent rank­ings shows that there are nine South African champions.

Five fight­ers – in­clud­ing Bukiwe “Ana­conda” Non­ina, who is the World Box­ing Fed­er­a­tion (WBF) ban­tamweight queen, and Noni “She Bee Stin­gin’” Tenge, who holds the WBF wel­ter­weight belt – hold world crowns

Non­ina is ar­guably the coun­try’s best fe­male boxer. She won the then va­cant ti­tle by beat­ing Ger­many’s Ale­sia Graf by a unan­i­mous points de­ci­sion at Oliver Tambo Sports Cen­tre in Cape Town in March. She will fight against Zim­bab­wean Pa­tience Mas­tara over

(see box).

. Noni Tenge (WBF wel­ter­weight)

. Bukiwe Non­ina (WBF ban­tamweight)

. Sha­radene For­tuin (World Box­ing As­so­ci­a­tion Pan African ban­tamweight) six rounds at the Mdantsane In­door Cen­tre in East Lon­don on Fri­day.

“I don’t know when I will be de­fend­ing my ti­tle, but I’m look­ing for­ward to a good fight against Mas­tara as it will be part of the Women’s Month cel­e­bra­tions,” said Non­ina. She has com­piled a record of 15 fights (11 wins, three de­feats and a draw).

Tenge is sched­uled to fight Swe­den’s Mikaela Lau­rén in Stock­holm on Septem­ber 30.

She Bee Stin­gin’ packs a mean punch and lives up to her moniker of sting­ing her foes. She beat Julie Tsha­bal­ala by a unan­i­mous de­ci­sion in 2015. She suc­cess­fully de­fended her ti­tle against Hun­gar­ian Szil­via Sz­aba­dos at Dur­ban’s International Con­ven­tion Cen­tre in March last year.

“I wish the date of my up­com­ing fight could have been switched to this month so it could co­in­cide with the fes­tiv­i­ties,” said Tenge.

Leighan­dre Jegels is the coun­try’s top su­per fly­weight boxer, hav­ing de­throned Nol­uba­balo Ngqon­de­lana on points at the Ori­ent The­atre in East Lon­don in June last year.

PHOTO: TE­BOGO LETSIE

ANA­CONDA Bukiwe Non­ina is one of the SA’s world champions. She holds the WBF ban­tamweight crown

PHOTO: PA­TRICK KUKARD

ST­ING Noni Tenge (left) lands a left hook to the face of Gifty Ankrah dur­ing their WBF fight in East Lon­don in 2009. Tenge won the bout

PHOTO: LUCKY NXUMALO

BOSS Mu­di­ta­mbi Ravele

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