Top promoters square off over Tenge fights

Battle leaves bad taste in Noni’s mouth

SA BOXING’S golden girl Noni Tenge has found herself at the centre of a tug-ofwar between two East London promoters who both want her to fight in their promotions.

Siphatho Handi of Mamali Promotions and Andile Sidinile are both claiming that they have organised a fight for Tenge in May and June respectively.

And this has not gone down well with Tenge who feels the two promoters are fighting their own battles using her as bait.

“They are both acting like jealous lovers who wants me to choose between them,” Tenge said.

The stand-off has left Tenge confused regarding the offer to choose but she conceded that she was likely to go with Handi as she likes his plans for her future.

Handi is offering Tenge a WBA interim welterweight title clash against Dominican Republican lass Oxandia Castillo at East London’s Orient Theatre on May 31.

On the other hand Sidinile has dangled a WBA, WBO and WBC welterweight title challenge against the best pound for pound female boxer Cecilia Braekhus in Germany in June.

Sidinile’s offer came when Tenge had already signed Handi’s contract and while the offer to challenge for three world titles at once is tantalising, Tenge says she first wants to get a warm-up bout before tackling Braekhus.

“Now Handi is giving me exactly that warm-up fight even though there is an interim title at stake,” she says.

While she does not have a promotional contract with either promoter, Tenge says Handi has been able to keep his promises to her.

“For instance last year Handi gave me a warm-up fight against Esther Mashiya just to dust off the cobwebs and help me gauge myself. But Sidinile comes up with this offer which, although it is big, imagine if I were to take it without having had a fight.”

Sidinile organised a fight for Tenge in June last year when she scored a body punch induced knockout win over Brazilian Silvia Zacarias in East London.

Prior to that he matched Tenge against Layla McCarter in a vacant WBA junior middleweight title clash which Tenge lost by an eighth round stoppage for her first professional defeat in 15 bouts.

Asked why she does not sign a promotional contract with one of them, Tenge says she has offered her services on the basis that she is given three fights per year with specific purses.

Sidinile confirmed that he forwarded an offer for the Breakhus fight to Tenge.

“It is up to her if she takes it or not but as far as I am concerned this is the big opportunity for her,” he said.

But Handi insisted that the WBA had created an interim title as Braekhus is still embroiled in a contractual dispute with her Germany promotion company, Sauerland Promotion.

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