Bell aims to bring ti­tle home

● Nel­son Man­dela Bay’s no 1 fe­male boxer to face Pol­ish cham­pion

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - Sport - VUYOKAZI NKANJENI

Nel­son Man­dela Bay’s No 1 fe­male boxer, Nozipho Bell, has her box­ing gloves pol­ished and is itch­ing to fight un­beaten Pol­ish Ewa Brod­nicka for the World Box­ing As­so­ci­a­tion fe­male world su­per feath­er­weight cham­pi­onship ti­tle on Oc­to­ber 26, in Poland.

The three-time SA Ju­nior Light Cham­pion will make his­tory in South African box­ing as she will be the first fe­male boxer to con­test for the ti­tle in that coun­try.

“Nt­simbi”(which means steel) as she is known in the box­ing world, will be the third boxer from the Bay re­gion to get an op­por­tu­nity for a world ti­tle af­ter Vuyani Nene and the late Mzuk­isi Sikali.

De­spite many chal­lenges she has faced in terms of look­ing for spon­sor­ship and fi­nan­cial back­ing to fund her med­i­cal tests, some of which are still out­stand­ing, the 29-year-old Walmer Town­ship boxer has not let that dent her spirit.

When the Week­end Post spoke to Bell she was still look­ing for fund­ing to pay for her brain scan which is re­quired to be done two weeks be­fore the fight.

The brain scan costs be­tween R10,000 and R15,000.

Bell says she has left ev­ery­thing to her man­age­ment to sort out.

“Our prepa­ra­tions are go­ing very well. We are work­ing hard be­cause we see that the level is pretty high and things will not be the same.

“This will be my first in­ter­na­tional fight. We have more hours of trav­el­ling now than nor­mally, so I have to be well pre­pared and also make sure that my weight is on track when I leave South Africa.

“The ti­tle is very im­por­tant be­cause I will be the first fe­male in SA to con­test for this ti­tle and se­condly I will be com­ing from Port El­iz­a­beth. So, I was very ex­cited when this op­por­tu­nity came.”

Bell suc­cess­fully de­fended her SA ju­nior Light Cham­pion belt for the third time in a row last year when she beat Ry­der Muleba in Lim­popo.

She has only one de­feat and a draw from the 10 fights she has fought so far. It was for this impressive run that she was awarded this op­por­tu­nity.

“This has been my wish and my goal to fight in­ter­na­tion­ally. It has also been my wish to make my coun­try proud and bring in a world ti­tle. A big one like this, now this chance has come.

“I am look­ing for­ward to bring­ing it home.”

When asked to com­ment about her op­po­nent Brod­nicka, 34, a confident Bell said she was not shaken by her record.

“I have seen my op­po­nent. I am also a cham­pion so I will have to trust my­self. I see that she is good at what she does but I will be able to han­dle her tactics,” she said.

“An­other chal­lenge I am faced with is the lack of sup­port here at home be­cause over there women’s box­ing is sup­ported. Also I can tell by view­ing her video footages that she is well sup­ported where she comes from.

“My wish is for me to get the sim­i­lar sup­port here at home. In terms of spon­sors, how I dress and my diet as well be­cause I have been do­ing this for years with­out a spon­sor.

“I don’t have a spe­cific diet or nu­tri­tion plan. I eat whatev- er I have at home and get up and go to the gym.”

Bell grew up in the dusty streets of Walmer Town­ship play­ing soccer and has been a suc­cess at what­ever she tried.

She played foot­ball for the pro­vin­cial team and in 2006 was se­lected to join the SA un­der 17 team.

The sport fa­natic then took a pause from sport and took up art. Her beau­ti­ful art work is splashed all over Walmer Town­ship.

“I re­turned to sport but this time I played rugby for Bon­tle Tigers. There, I was also picked to join the EP sev­ens team but I felt like what I was do­ing was not ful­fill­ing my soul.

“My body craved for more train­ing so I joined box­ing in 2011 and my spirit re­joiced.”

Bell’s men­tor Cai­phus Ntante said the boxer was the right melody for the fight.

But the only thing they needed to work on was stage fright.

“We also have to play our cards right be­cause this girl we are up against is di­rect.

“We have seen video footage of fights.

“So, we will have to fight be­hind the de­fence but make sure that we walk away with the ti­tle,” Ntante said.

“Both box­ers are at the peak of their ca­reers right now, so this is go­ing to be a dif­fi­cult but en­ter­tain­ing fight. Al­ready I am told that over 10,000 tick­ets have been sold for the fight.

“We have been work­ing very hard and I prom­ise that we will come back with this ti­tle to Walmer Town­ship. We are good trav­ellers.”

The team will leave for Poland on Satur­day next week.

Pho­to­graph: WERNER HILLS

THE CHAMP HERE: Three-time SA Ju­nior Light cham­pion Nozipho Bell pre­pares for her WBO fight in Poland on Oc­to­ber 26

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