‘She Bee’ and sisters will do it for themselves

As the country marks the beginning of 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, women boxers, including former IBF and WBF undefeated welterweight champion Noni “She Bee Stingin’” Tenge, will fight in an international all-female tournament at Southern Sun Hotel in Pretoria today.

It will be staged by female promoter Mbali “Don Queen” Zantsi – the owner of Showtime Boxing Promotions – who was in charge of the first ever professional female boxing in Durban in 2007.

That was a year after female professional boxing had been permitted in South Africa. Tenge, Unathi Myekeni and Bomkazi Klaas made their professional debut in that event.

Current BSA boss Muditambi Ravele, the first female to occupy the chair, announced yesterday that Zantsi’s tournament will be headlined by a WBF junior-middleweight contest between Tenge and SA welterweight champion Julia “Queen” Tshabalala.

She also said an all-women boxers’ seminar would precede the start of proceedings.

“The seminar for boxers, officials and promoter will start this morning and end on Sunday,” she said.

“Part of our strategy as BSA is to promote female boxing. That is one of the recommendations that came out of the Boxing Indaba.

“BSA went out to look for funding in order for this seminar to happen.”

The idea – the first since BSA came into being in 2002 – comes few days after WBC International Silver featherweight champion Thabo Sonjica was convicted at East London Regional Court for the rape of a 15-year-old girl.

“We hope this does not impact negatively on our drive to encourage more women to join boxing,” said Ravele.

“We want empower our female licensees so that they feel equally important as their male counterparts.”

Zantsi confirmed that Nozwelethu Mathonsi will defend her SA junior-flyweight title against Nthabiseng Didi while Rita Mrwebi and Esther Mashiya will do battle for the Gauteng junior-middleweight belt.

Natalie Bania and Milicia Mooi will meet over six rounds in the junior-featherweight with Hedda Wolmarans and Bongani Vukea completing the bill with a six-rounder in the junior-welterweight class.