‘Future bright’ for Bonita van Jaarsveld after earning respect in German bout

Bonita van Jaarsveld, right, after her fight against Beke Bas of Germany at Paul Greifzu Stadion in Dessau-Roßlau on Saturday.
Bonita van Jaarsveld, right, after her fight against Beke Bas of Germany at Paul Greifzu Stadion in Dessau-Roßlau on Saturday.
Image: Supplied

South African lightweight boxing champion Bonita van Jaarsveld's journey to Germany last weekend ended in a points loss to home fighter and Women’s International Boxing Organisation champion Beke Bas.

However, the 33-year-old's courageous performance and unwavering spirit under trying circumstances won her the hearts of many German fans who attended their 10-round match at Paul Greifzu Stadion in Dessau-Roßlau on Saturday.

That is how her manager, Colleen McAusland, summed up the fight, Van Jaarsveld's first outside South Africa since her first professional match on February 19 2011.

“The future looks bright for this talented South African boxer,” said McAusland, whose commitment to the sport earned her Boxing SA’s 2018 Manager of the Year award.

“Bonita faced a major challenge when her coach, Ferdi Basson from the Godfather MMA Gym, was unable to secure his travel visa in time. This left Bonita with no option but to travel alone.”

Bonita van Jaarsveld sparring.

McAusland also stayed in South Africa because her other seven fighters were involved in matches at Kliprivier Recreation Centre in Kibler Park on Saturday, where Smangele “Smash” Hadebe retained her ABU flyweight belt with a first-round stoppage win over Tanzanian Jesca Mfinanga.

Bernice “The Badger” Ferreira claimed Gauteng bragging rights when she won the provincial junior lightweight belt, also via a first-round stoppage of Eastern Cape fighter Sinesipho Mve.

Monica Mkandla was crowned ABU Sadc junior featherweight champion after her fourth-round victory over Egine Kanyange.

McAusland arranged for a coach in Germany to assist Van Jaarsveld during the fight.

“The language barrier posed an additional challenge as Bonita’s stand-in coach did not speak English. Bonita fought valiantly, going the full 10 rounds.

“Though she ultimately lost the fight on points, her performance was nothing short of inspiring,” said McAusland, who expressed pride in her charge's decision to compete despite daunting circumstances.

“Bonita made the brave choice to fight alone in a foreign country and she showed incredible grit by going the distance. She did South Africa proud.

“South African boxing fans understand the challenge of competing abroad, where the odds often favour the host. Bonita's willingness to face the challenges head-on exemplifies the spirit of South African women in boxing.”


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