Women’s tournament marks boxing’s much-needed return to the ring

Sibabaliwe Gwebityala is flanked by boxing legend Vuyani Bungu and promoter Monica Goci ahead of her EC title clash in Scenery Park on Saturday.
READY TO RUMBLE: Sibabaliwe Gwebityala is flanked by boxing legend Vuyani Bungu and promoter Monica Goci ahead of her EC title clash in Scenery Park on Saturday.

The first boxing tournament in Scenery Park on Saturday may be low key, as it often the case with any event involving women’s boxing, but it is a big moment for the pugilism sport as it marks the end of blanket inactivity that has engulfed it since December.

Ola GGM Promotions will organise a Women in Boxing Series seventh leg topped by the provincial junior-flyweight title clash between Sibabaliwe Gwebityala and Zizo Sikoti.

Besides giving the boxing-mad region an opportunity to host the series which has already been organised in almost all other provinces, the event will serve as a landmark as it will herald the return of  boxing after the sport ground to a halt due to the legal impasse between the promoters and sports minister Zizi Kodwa.

National Professional Boxing Promoters Association successfully challenged Kodwa for appointing the new Boxing SA board without consulting them, rendering the sport rudderless as no committees were able to facilitate activity.

Thousands of boxers were left with no income with the Buffalo City Metro region the hardest hit as it houses the majority of fighters solely depended on fight earnings for livelihoods.


Kodwa has since circumvented the impasse by appointing BSA acting CEO Mandla Ntlanganiso as an accounting authority, a move which has reportedly unlocked boxing tournaments and lifted the gloom in boxing fraternity.

While Saturday’s tournament was already approved by the previous board to be held on December 3, its postponement to this weekend cast uncertainty regarding its status until it was given the all clear.

Boxing fans are expected to flock to the Scenery Park community hall not only to fix their dose but to celebrate the return of the sport in anticipation of more tournaments on the pipeline.

Boxing is more than a sport to a slew of BCM homes as it also serves as the tool to fight poverty in addition to its religion status.


Almost every home has a boxing connection through a son, daughter, an uncle, grandfather, granddaughter or a neighbour who was involved in the sport one way or the other.

Locking down activity does not only deny competitors an opportunity to make a living but it kills the pride of the region of showcasing its talent at the world stage as Sivenathi Nontshinga has done by regaining the IBF junior-flyweight crown, becoming a two time world champion a fortnight ago.




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