The spotlight falls firmly on Mpumalanga as the province prepares to host the third leg of the “Boxing is Back” extravaganza taking place at the Graceland Casino in Secunda, on Friday, 28 August.
There are five bouts on the bill, with no less than three international titles, plus one national title on the line. Four of the five bouts feature female pugilists, who will battle it out for an array of titles on offer.
Minister of Sport and Recreation South Africa, Fikile Mbalula, indicated that women across all sport codes needed to be given equal attention, as they can no longer be put on the sideline.
“This women’s month we continue to join hands with South Africans across the country in celebrating and honouring women. Recently, we partnered with gsport4girls and bestowed to women in sport well-deserved recognition awards for moving South African sport forward. We close off this month on a high note, celebrating women in boxing.
“Ours is to promote all sporting codes and ensure that women are given space to fully participate on equal footing with their male counterparts,” the Sports Minister said.
“I therefore urge all South Africans this coming Friday to join us as we witness once more great boxing from competent female South African boxers confirming what I have always been saying – SA Women can do it, and are equally competent. *Wathintabafazi, Wathint imbokodo*”, Minister Mbalula concluded.
The Box and Dine will receive live coverage on SABC from 21:30 on Friday night. SABC COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, said: “We are very excited that as the public service broadcaster this year women’s month will close on a high note as we celebrate and honour women in boxing, by broadcasting a special tournament that is mainly dedicated to them.
“It gives us great pleasure that with our wide reach we will bring South Africans this special edition straight to their living rooms. Our wish is that this partnership between the Sports Ministry and Boxing South Africa will go a long way in ensuring that women in boxing take their rightful place, and are exposed to the millions of South Africans who love boxing.”
Boxing South Africa Chairperson, Ntambi Ravele, said: “This tournament is one of its kind, especially in closing the celebrations of women’s month. For the first time we have a televised tournament of women boxing, hosted by a female promoter and officiated by females.
“This is our way of attracting and encouraging participation of women in boxing at all levels. BSA will be rolling out a programme soon in recruiting women and girls into the sport, as part of our transformation programme.”
In the main bout of the evening current champion Mzonke The Rose of Khayelitsha’ Fana will battle Said Zungu from Tanzania for the WBF International Title, in what is widely expected to be an entertaining duel for spectators who have for a long time been starved of top class boxing action.
The title fights will be live on a Boxing magazine program which broadcasts every Friday between 21H30 – 23H30 on SABC 2.
- WBF World Title Female Junior Featherweight (10 Rounds):
- Gabisile Shabalala (Mpumalanga) vs Unathi Myekeni (North West)
- WBF International and SA Featherweight Title (10 Rounds):
- Amanda Nxokwana (Eastern Cape) vs Raider Moleba (Gauteng)
- SA Flyweight Title Fight (10 Rounds):
- Noxolo Makhanavu (Eastern Cape) vs Bongiwe Seyisi (Eastern Cape)
- Welterweight Female Bout (4 Rounds):
- Hedda Wolmarans (Gauteng Province) vs Maria Sivhanga (Limpopo)
- WBF World Title Fight (12 Rounds):
- Mzonke Fana (WC) vs Takalani Ndlovu
Photo 1 caption: The SA Sports Minister is outspoken in support of SA women in sport, this time right behind Boxing South Africa Chairperson Ntambi Ravele and the live televised Box and Dine extravaganza at the Graceland Casino in Secunda. Minister Mbalula is pictured with 2015 SPAR gsport Award winners Reabetswe Mashigo and ‘Mama Joy’ Chauke. Photo: Rebecca Hearfield / gsport
Photo 2 caption: Boxing South Africa Chairperson, Ntambi Ravele (left) was upbeat about the Box and Dine extravaganza at the Graceland Casino in Second: “This is our way of attracting and encouraging participation of women in boxing at all levels.” Ravele is pictured with gsport Trustee Hazel Gumede, at the 2012 gsport Awards. Photo: gsport