Mdantsane City will continue with its outstanding commitment to unearth boxing talent in the Mdantsane region when it hosts the sixth edition of its development series in two weeks time.
The venue has incorporated boxing, due to its religious following in the township, to its social programme and this year will be no different when close to 30 boxing clubs battle for supremacy.
Already the programme has produced such luminary champions as current reigning SA champions Phila Mpontshane and Nozwelethu Mathontsi.
Mpontshane from the legendary Eyethu Boxing Club holds the SA junior-lightweight crown while Mathontsi from Sisonke is the reigning SA junior-flyweight female champion.
Eastern Cape Amateur Boxing Organisation (Ecabo) president Vido Mntekwana said the tournaments at the Mdantsane mall have formed the integral part of developing boxing in the Mdantsane township.
“We are in our sixth year and the competition has grown in leaps and bounds each year,” he said.
While the tournaments which were initially held in December during the school holidays are dominated by Mdantsane boxing clubs, it is opened to those outside the region including East London Amateur Boxing Organisation (Elabo).
“For instance this year we will have a club from Somerset East called Modern Boxing Club,” he said.
This year will see the tournaments being held on October 21 and 28 limiting them from being contested for the whole October weekends as was the case last year.
Mdantsane City marketing manager Wendy Zitha said the tournaments were launched in line with hard work and the determination the Mdantsane township commands of being South Africa’s boxing Mecca.
“Now thanks to a new initiative, more young pugilists have the chance of being thrust into the spotlight,” she said. “Over the years, the urban township, 15km from East London, has spawned numerous national and international boxing champions, including former IBF super-bantamweight champion Vuyani ‘The Beast’ Bungu and retired IBF world bantamweight champion Welcome Ncita.”
She said the initiative was hoping to build on that status, and possibly uncover future superstars with Mdantsane City Shopping Centre hosting the tournaments.
The tournaments have already generated immense interest among boxing clubs in Mdantsane, and even further afield in Buffalo City.
“The contest contributes towards sports development in South Africa, which is a vital aspect in instilling discipline among the youth,” said Zitha.
“Most importantly, it drives youngsters away from a life of crime. The upliftment of the standard of living in our community really matters to us,” she added.
The tournaments are open to all boxing clubs, schools and sports lovers, who stand a chance of winning prizes, including medals and trophies worth R10 000, sponsored by Mdantsane City.
In each of the age groups – juniors, youth and senior amateurs – there will be gold medals for the winner and silver for the runner-up. There are also miniature trophies for the best bout, male and female.
Each bout will consist of three rounds, lasting three minutes for seniors and two minutes for junior and youth boxers.
The club that collects the most points becomes the overall winner across all age groups.
Zitha invited spectators to come at the event as it will be free to the public and will take place in the mall parking lot opposite Entrance 1. The tournament runs from 10am to 4pm on both Saturdays. — Boxing Mecca