sistas say no to ring

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

Sunday afternoon's international professional boxing tournament dedicated to women at the Benoni Civic Hall, that was presented by female promoter Mbali Zantsi, was a huge flop.

Even the free entry was not enough to entice women to attend the event.

The no-show by the executive mayor of Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, Ntombi Mekgwe, made it even worse.

Zantsi announced last week that Mekgwe was partnering her in staging this tournament.

The lack of interest from female fans could be down to the fact that there were no female fighters from Ekurhuleni on the bill.

The eight female fighters fought in front of a paltry crowd that included the chairman of the parliamentary portfolio committee on sport, Butana Komphela, and the president of Athletics South Africa, Leonard Chuene.

Ester Mashila (Mpumalanga), Monalisa Sibanda (Zimbabwe), Unathi Myekeni (Gauteng) and Noni Tenge (Eastern Cape) gave a good account of themselves.

Mashila outpointed Lillian Molala of Gauteng and Sibanda beat another Gauteng fighter, Queen Tshabalala.

Myekeni overwhelmed Dian Makumbe of Zimbabwe, forcing her to give up in the dying moments of the fourth round.

Mangalukeni Hamata's vicious blows in the first round served only to anger Tenge, who launched a furious body assault in the second round.

Female referee Siya Vabaza correctly stopped the fight.

In the men's section, Mbulelo Transvaal landed a cracking right hook on Koos Sibiya's head that saw Sibiya suffer what seemed like fits. He was rescued in the second round.

Meanwhile, Wandile Mseleku from KwaZulu-Natal embarrassed Luyanda Jako with a third-round stoppage to win the vacant Gauteng lightweight belt.