South Africa will have at least five credible boxing champions by April next year. This bold prediction was made by renowned boxing promoter, Ayanda Matiti.
Matiti’s Xaba Promotions will be hosting a boxing tournament in Soweto on Sunday to celebrate the life of Nelson Mandela as a boxer.
This year marks the 8th anniversary of the Celebration of Madiba as a Boxer.
The tournament which started back in 2014 will be held outside the Eastern Cape for the very first time. This year it will be staged at the Orlando Community Hall in Soweto on Sunday.
The tournament will include three international bouts featuring top boxers from the Philippines and Argentina.
“There are four title fights that are taking place. We have a South African title that is vacant. We have two WBO titles that are sanctioned by the WBO and one international title fight that is sanctioned by the IBF. It’s a contest between nations. There are two South Africans fighting against two Philippines, there’s one South African fighting against an Argentinian. What more could you ask for when you are saying you are celebrating a gallant fighter, a former statesman,” says Matiti.
The promoters of the tournament at the Communal Hall in Orlando East, expect the box and dine, black tie event, to be a big success.
“Our intention was to equally move the event to any country in the continent, any province in South Africa which symbolises the steps that Madiba as a freedom fighter took in ensuring that our liberation as the people and as a nation is received by all South Africans,” Matiti adds.
Video: SA wants more recognised boxing champs
In the main bout of the day, reigning South African flyweight champion Phumelela Cafu will take on Genisis Libranza from the Philippines. The two boxers will fight for the vacant IBF International Junior Bantamweight title.
“Without any doubt, I’m really ready for the fight. I’ve been preparing for the fight for about two months now so I’m really ready for the fight on Sunday. I’m going to put on a good show. About my preparations, I didn’t do anything that I don’t usually do. I prepare for every fight the same way because I don’t underestimate my training ways. In December in my last fight, I fought a really experienced guy I fought Jackson Chauke and I beat him,” says Cafu.
A South African title will also be at stake on Sunday. Sifiso Hlongwane of Limpopo will face Asanda Gingqi of the Eastern Cape for the vacant junior lightweight title.
“I won’t say I’m lucky but like Soweto, it’s my second home from Limpopo. I know my fans they are going to be there in numbers, they must just expect the Sifiso they see all the time when I fight,” says Sifiso Hlongwane, South African boxer.
Organisers of this weekend’s extraordinary boxing tournament had to apply for special permission from Boxing South Africa. BSA rules stipulate that a tournament should have a minimum of 36 rounds of boxing with a maximum of 44 rounds per tournament.
But this weekend’s event will be one of 76 rounds of quality boxing if all fights go the distance.
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