A 'stinging' return
TOP women's boxing returns to East London on June 2, promoter Andile Sdinile confirmed yesterday.
Sdinile's company, Sijuta Promotion, which presented the WBA junior middleweight championship at the Orient Theatre on September 30, will organise the WBA international junior welter and junior featherweight title fights at the famous East London venue.
Noni "She Bee Stingin" Tenge, who topped the bill when she tasted defeat in her 13th fight against Layla MacCarter, will headline the June 2 card.
Tenge will square off against Brazilian Michelle Larissa Bonassoli for the junior welterweight title in the main fight, while her homegirl from East London, Unathi "Showtime" Myekeni, will oppose Simone da Silva - also from Brazil - for the junior featherweight title in the main supporting bout.
The WBA has already appointed officials for both fights. South Africa's Stan Christodoulou will referee, while Alberto Sarmiento from Venezuela will be fight supervisor. Francisco Martinez, from Auckland, Ferlin Marsh and Derek Milham, from Australia, will be referees.
Sdinile, a former board member of Boxing South Africa, said this event would be completely different from the first one. "When Noni fought MacCarter it was pure boxing," he said. "This one on June 2 has taken a different approach altogether. It will coincide with the week-long WBA's KO Drug Campaign where sport-loving people from East London will be saying 'no to drugs'. The campaign starts on May 26."
The programme, said Sdinile, is broadly geared towards instilling morality and values to society, but more specifically to the youth participating in the sport.
He said the programme was the brainchild of WBA president Gilberto Mendoza. "I spoke to him when I attended the WBA's convention in Jakarta in November about doing it here. I made it clear to him that it is because of the socioeconomic programmes experienced under apartheid that the social ills and the moral fibre have taken a knock."
"He was excited and promised to assist in anyway possible. I'm glad to announce that it will happen in East London which is regarded as the Mecca of boxing in Africa."
Sdinile said officials, trainers, boxers and seconders will be trained on drug abuse and the dangers of doping.