A boxing event not to be missed
Promoters not afraid to go out on limb for funds
One would have been forgiven for mistaking the Last Born Promotions (LBP) boxing premedical at Mdantsane gymnasium on Thursday as belonging to one of the big international promoters.
This was due to the slew of sponsors on display which transformed the event into a colourful spectacle with all the boxers scheduled to fight in Sunday's tournament at Orient Theatre dressed in matching tracksuits while the names of funders emblazoned the posters promoting the bill.
LBP director Mla Tengimfene did not mince his words when he boasted about the new promotional outfit's ability to attract funders from the private sector.
"We do not rely on government or municipalities to organise our tournaments. We source our own funding and organise our tournaments as you can see by the number of our partners displayed here.
“We are not saying we will not partner with the government or municipalities but we do not wait for them to spoonfeed us before doing what we are supposed to do."
While LBP partnered with the OR Tambo municipality to organise a tournament in Mthatha last year, Tengimfene insisted that the move did not define their existence.
"For instance, we organised this tournament with the help of our private funders and, as you can see, we did not cut corners by scheduling a weak tournament."
Indeed the newly awarded most promising promoter of the year recipient will organise a ground-breaking show on Sunday with an unprecedented four African Boxing Union title bouts.
Fikile Mlonyeni vies for the continental flyweight title against Sinethemba Kotana. Three others boxers affiliated to the promotional outfit – Xolisa Nonkonyana, Loyiso Ngant- weni and Andile Nxayiphi – will also contest for ABU titles in their respective weight divisions.
We source our own funds and organise our own tourneys as you can see
LBP owner Xolani Mampunye said all the boxers had made a solemn promise to win titles on Sunday.
"This promotion is associated with Zolani Tete's success but the boxers now want to come out of his shadow and make a name for themselves," he said.
"They vowed to do so on Sunday so that they can carve their own niche in boxing."
By early indications the boxers indeed appeared to be ready with all of them already within the weight limit.
Mlonyeni, a 35-year-old veteran who says he has found a proper training home at All Winners boxing club which is the gymnasium wing of LBP, said he could not wait to bring a title to his new home.
"As you can see I'm already on weight thanks to the motivation we draw from Zolani so I am good to go," he said.
Tete is serving as an inspiration to the rest of the boxers for his WBO bantamweight champion status.
While the importance of sharing a training home with him cannot be emphasised enough, Tengimfene insisted that it was time for boxers to prove their worth.
The promotional outfit is planning to return to Mthatha with a tournament planned in September. Tengimfene said boxers winning their bouts on Sunday will likely feature on the bill for the exciting tournament in Mthatha.