Sun Sep 24 07:13:53 SAST 2017

'Rose of Limpopo' on home ground

By Bongani Magasela | 2017-08-31 07:34:56.0

The golden opportunity to fight in front of local fans is bigger than the actual fight itself, says Nyelisani Thagambega who will make his professional boxing debut at home in Venda on Saturday afternoon.

Most boxers, including Cassius Baloyi - the former six-time world champion from Malamulele in Limpopo - who relocate to Johannesburg never got the chance to fight at home until their careers were over.

Thagambega counts himself as being "very lucky". He turned professional in 2011 at Nasrec Arena near Soweto and has already fought 16 times in Gauteng.

The boxer from Luheni in Venda, who is trained in Boksburg by Harold Volbrecht, will welcome Zolile Miya from Soweto in a 10-rounder for the vacant Limpopo flyweight title.

"There are two things here: I am excited to be fighting at home and also that I will be crowned as my province's champion," said Thagambega, who goes by the moniker "Rose of Limpopo".

Their bout will take place at Biaba College in Makhado, staged by Ndzhelele Women Sports of Pauline Mashudu.

Thagambega added: "People at home know through reading newspapers that I am a boxer. They have not seen me in action. I have excitement in store for them. I don't care who Zolile Miya is or how he fights. He is gonna get beaten up badly. This fight will not go beyond six rounds."

Thagambega has nine wins against seven losses, while Miya - who is trained by Lehlohonolo Ramagole in Orlando - has two wins in five fights.

There are six more bouts on the card and action is expected to begin at 2pm.