By Chris Totobela
Local boxing fans braved the wet and cold weather on Saturday, 28 October 2023, and made their way to BB Zondani Hall where Thembalethu Boxing Club hosted a boxing tournament.
This tournament was supposed to take place at the Extension 9 Community Hall but due to the venue’s unreadiness, the venue had to be changed at the last minute. Masibambane Boxing Club, Mfuzo Boxing Club, Masakheke Boxing Club, Golden Gloves Boxing Club, hosts Thembalethu Boxing Club and Port Alfred-based Masibambisane Boxing Club all took part in this tournament.
The opening bout was between Lufezo Nunu of Masakheke, Boxing Club and Luvuyo Mazungula of Mfuzo Boxing Club. There were a lot of thrilling bouts that got the fans screaming on top of their voices. In an all-female bout Aneza Solakhe of Port Alfred-based Masibambisane Boxing Club came up against one of Makhanda’s up-and-coming prospects Siyole Mbunge, in an electrifying encounter.
In the first round both boxers made their intentions very clear and exchanged heavy blows. They stood toe to toe and got the crowd on their feet with Solakhe throwing more scoring punches. In the second round Mbunge came back the stronger of the two and threw more damaging punches but kept on walking straight into the opponent’s jab. In the third round both boxers threw stinging punches and took punishment from each other but Solakhe got a bit tired towards the end and was forced to keep on holding.
Mbunge emerged victorious on points and was delighted “I fought a good opponent but I was prepared for the fight. I’m happy that I have won and will go back to training and work on my mistakes. I would also like to thank all the people who cheered for me in this fight,” said Mbunge.
In another female bout Yoliswa Fundwana of Masibambane Boxing Club beat Anelisa Zonke of Masibambane Boxing Club in an exciting encounter. Mfuzo boxing camp’s boxers gave a very good account of themselves. Masakheke Boxing Club also scooped up a couple of wins while Masibambane Boxing Club also had a good showing.
In one of the exciting male bouts Aviwe Duda of Mfuzo Boxing Club exchanged leather with Masibambane Boxing Club’s Ayabonga Mati in a thrill a minute bout. Both boxers came out of their corners guns blazing. They both threw decent combinations catching each other with good punches. Duda put Mati under pressure but his movement around the ring did the trick for him.
In the second round Duda failed to come out of his corner as he seemed to have suffered an injury while exchanging blows with Mati in the first round. Duda’s corner need to be applauded for the wise decision they made, putting Duda’s safety ahead of everything. Mati was declared the winner on Tko.
Thembalethu Boxing Club’s public relations officer Khayalethu Richards was pleased with the proceedings “The tournament went well and I thank all the people who came. Special thanks to Grocott’s Mail for always making sure that our sport gets the coverage it deserves,” he said.
This was a good tournament but once again the venue was a challenge as it seemed not up to standard to host an event of that nature. The venue did not look safe at all and some o the fans complained about broken windows which was not good considering the weather on the day and they also complained about dysfunctional restrooms.
These tournaments play a big role in promoting the sport of boxing and taking them to the people is also good but organisers need to do proper inspection of the venues they intend to use. As much as boxing fans love their sport they also need to be respected especially the boxers who are the main attraction they deserve to show their skills in a decent and secured venue with adequate lighting,security and working rest rooms.