Sovasi takes swipe at Tenge over her claims

Noni Tenge whose claims that she had been badly managed have been disputed by her former East London trainer Luyanda Sovasi.
Noni Tenge whose claims that she had been badly managed have been disputed by her former East London trainer Luyanda Sovasi.
Image: File

Boxer Noni “She Bee Stinging” Tenge’s former trainer Luyanda Sovasi has set the record straight about remarks the boxer made about her previous management costing her titles.

In Thursday’s Daily Dispatch, the 37-year-old boxer who recently relocated to Port Elizabeth after spending most of her life in East London, said her former management had cost her world titles.

But Sovasi, who managed Tenge, dismissed the statement.

“Before Noni relocated to Port Elizabeth due to work commitments she was under my stable Sisonke Boxing Club in Mdantsane,” said Sovasi.

“When I joined the club in 2015 she had already been stripped of her IBF title because she had not been fighting for more than two years.

“When I came in she was no longer a champion but there was this dream of reviving her career and I had an obligation to do a follow-up on that.

“She had also dropped in ratings because she had not been fighting.

“What I did was to arrange an international contract for her which we both signed but it never availed any fights for us.”

Sovasi says he then spoke to Johannesburg-based female boxing promoter Mbali Zantsi who organised the WBF title fight for Tenge against Julie Tshabalala, at the Southern Sun Hotel in Pretoria.

“Under my management and training she won the fight.

“In 2016 we defended the title and won it again in Durban and there was a vast improvement in her performance.

“Because Noni found employment after finishing her studies she had to relocate from East London to PE.

“We called a meeting at the gym and she explained to everybody that there was no bad blood between her and the management and that her move was only work related.

“However, we would still keep in touch with regards to fights as she remained a Sisonke boxer.

“It’s almost a year now that she has been in PE.”

Sovasi said he was surprised to see Tenge fight in September without informing the stable last year.

“We assumed that she had parted ways with us.

“At Sisonke we don’t only train boxers but we prepare them for a future beyond boxing.

“When Noni found employment after studying we used her as a benchmark and an example to other boxers at the stable.

“We could never stand in her way when she told us she had found employment because boxing is a short time thing,” he said.

“Now I am trying to correct this distortion because it has an impact on me as her previous manager.

“I am disappointed by her remarks because I am currently managing boxers and this will give a very wrong image about me.”

Tenge had said she would be defending her WBF title in Las Vegas early next year against an opponent yet to be revealed.

“As the management at Sisonke we wish Noni well in her future endeavours.

“We will support her all the way, there is no bad blood.

“ I have seen the fights that are lined up for her and we wish her all the best for them,” said Sovasi.

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