Baby Champs semifinals a thrilling affair

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

The Golden Walk mall in Germiston was a hive of activity on Saturday, courtesy of Hey Sport Promotions which presented 17 bouts of boxing matches to thousands of fight fans free of charge.

This was the second leg semifinals of Boxing SA's Baby Champs, the first leg having taken place two weeks ago in Western Cape. The finals will take place on January 16 at a venue yet to be confirmed.

Not even a single incident of misbehaviour was witnessed or reported through that seven-hour convention. Those masses were enveloped by the spirit of the fight game.

Parents, sisters, brothers as well as grannies, screamed their lungs out cheering their beloved in their bid to take a step closer to graduating into mainstream boxing.

The fights comprised competitors from Gauteng, Limpopo, North West, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern and Western Cape. They were contested over four rounds.

Ring announcers Desmond Sono and Sipho Mashego, who took turns at the mike, earned their money while sympathies went to a ring girl who paraded the boards 66 times.

Fights were evenly matched. Only four ended via the short route. It was a case of tit-for-tat.

Fierce action began in the junior welterweight fight between Tyson Sixakuma and Bheki'Mpilo Mlilo, an exciting give-and-take encounter, which Tyson won on points.

Blood was spilt in the junior lightweight bout between Wandile Mseleku and Siyamcela Mntwana. Mseleku, won in a split decision.

Then the advantage of superior conditioning, a lesson to all boxers, was displayed by Mthobisi Buthelezi against Mbuso Ndlela in the welterweight division.

Ndlela was more skilful but Mthobisi was always there throwing leather endlessly and was deservedly voted the winner.

But Miniyakhe Sityatha was the star of the tournament. The 20-year-old from East London made boxing look so simple - and Siyanda Thethwa to look like a fool. Sityatha won on points.