Promoter Macbute Sinyabi says Simpiwe Vetyeka was his guest at the boxing tournament at Mdantsane Indoor Centre lastthis weekend. Sinyabi wants to see more unity in the sport than currently prevails.
Image: Michael Pinyana

New kid on the boxing promotion block Macbute Sinyabi has called on local promoters to smoke a peace pipe for the sake of boxing.

Sinyabi, who eventually graduated into full-fledged promotion when his company, MMT, organised its first tournament in Mdantsane at the weekend, has been caught in the crossfire of the infighting between two local structures of promoters.

On the one hand is Ayanda Matiti, as the chairman of the Eastern Cape Boxing Promoters Association (ECBA), with Sinyabi’s uncle, Phathekile, his secretary.

They are disputed by the structure chaired by Thando Zonke and secretary Bongani Zulu.

A former successful boxer, who made nine defences of the SA junior-featherweight title, putting away the majority of challengers to sleep with his power, Sinyabi has found the boxing promotion’s murky waters harder to navigate.

In his main bout at the weekend Athi Dumezweni, who is promoted by Matiti, knocked out Lindile Tshemese, who belongs to Zonke.

When Sinyabi started to make preparations for his debut tournament he received a hard blow when Tshemese’s camp protested the approval of KwaZulu-Natal’s eighth-ranked contender, Thulani Gumede, to face Dumezweni for the vacant title, throwing his plans into disarray.

He was forced to postpone the tournament until Boxing SA mandated Tshemese as an opponent for Dumezweni.

“We are young promoters coming through, but now we found ourselves caught in this cold war,” he said.

“I really do not think this is good for our boxing when our big brothers from who we supposed to learn are embroiled in infighting.”

When Sinyabi sat down with Zonke to negotiate terms for Tshemese, he was accused of siding with the other faction with the media also invariably brought in as an instigator.

This as his mentor is Matiti, who has been grooming him until he unleashed him at the weekend.

Sinyabi says he was absorbing knowledge from Zonke as well as Matiti, because he could learn from both.

“Braz T helped me by showing me things I could have missed. Bra Ayas is my mentor who has groomed me into what I am.”

To prove his impartiality, Sinyabi was rooting for Tshemese and not Dumezweni, despite the fact the new champion belongs to his mentor.

“My reasons for backing Tshemese had nothing to do with this faction. I backed him because he is an East London boxer, whereas Dumezweni is from Mthatha and fighting out of Johannesburg.”

After a hugely successful debut tournament which produced fireworks, Sinyabi says his next show will be better.

“It was a baptism of fire, but now I am growing as I am learning. There is no better teacher than making mistakes.”

While the Tshemese-Dumezweni bout had all the ingredients to draw a full house due to its grudge match status, the hall was half full.

There are a couple of factors that may have contributed to some fans opting to miss it, but Sinyabi is taking everything in his stride.

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