Brighter future for SA professional boxing
If the commitment shown by some promoters in the past two months is anything to go by, then the future of local professional boxing is bright.
First to kick-start the year was 5th Elements, whose international tournament in Pretoria on February 10 saw Justice Siliga win the SA heavyweight title elimination bout against Luke Sutherland.
Fourteen days later Golden Gloves produced two regional champions when Jabulani Makhense and Marios Matamba captured the WBA Pan African and IBF Continental junior-welterweight titles.
Zandile Malinga's Starline Boxing Promotions followed with a development tournament on February 23 in KwaZulu-Natal where Siphesihle Mntungwa was crowned KZN junior-lightweight champ.
Supreme Promotions of Sandile Xaka took boxing back to KwaThema, Springs on Sunday.
Golden Gloves returns to Emperors Palace on Saturday night. IBO cruiserweight champion Kevin Lerena will put his belt on the line against Artur Mann from Germany while Boyd Allen and John Bopape will fight for the vacant WBA Pan African junior-middleweight title.
Then the following day rivals Sabelo Ngebiyana and Sikho Nqothole will meet for the vacant SA junior-bantamweight title. The fight will be staged by Ayanda Matiti.
Then on March 30, Team Dida will be back at its happy hunting ground, Kagiso Memorial Hall, where Thato Bonokoane and Innocent Mantengu will do battle for the vacant SA featherweight title.
Linda Ntshingila and Brandon Thysse will fight for the vacant Gauteng junior-middleweight title.
A day later Akani Phuzi will put his WBA Pan African cruiserweight title on the line against Maroy Sadiki. Supreme Boxing Promotions will stage that bout at Blairgowrie Recreation Centre in Randburg, Joburg.
On March 23, accomplished female promoter Mbali "Don Queen" Zantsi will stage her maiden tourney at home in Port Elizabeth. Zantsi has been based in Johannesburg for 20 years.
WBF featherweight female champion Unathi Myekeni will headline that tournament in her first defence against Nozipho Bell.