Boxers at the races

Bongani Magasela

Bongani Magasela

The Turffontein racecourse in the south of Johannesburg hosted a professional boxing development tournament last Friday night.

It was presented by BRD Promotions in front of some 1000 fans in a hall close to where punters spend their time choosing the horses they believe will bring the big payday.

But no betting took place on Friday night.

Five fights ended within scheduled distances. Most winners came from the productive stable of Manny Fernandez.

He is credited with the successes of a number of fighters including Isaac Hlatswayo, Oscar Chauke and Malcolm Klassen.

The main bout between Fernandez's charge, Jason Berdeman from the south, and Mpumi Matshoba from the Dube Boyz Club in Soweto, had fans on the edge of their seats.

Bederman, despite still being tactless, nullified Matshoba's beautiful boxing skills with pressure. Matshoba, guided by George Ngwenya, fought awkwardly from the back foot trying to weather the storm.

But a well-executed straight right to the jaw sent him tumbling to the canvass in the third round. It was over - bar the shouting.

Bederman improved to five knockouts from eight wins and a draw while Matshoba suffered his third defeat against five victories and three draws.

But real excitement was provided for by female fighters Rita Mrwebi and Sandra Almedia. They went at it hammer and thongs from the outset and Mrewbi went down for a count.

But that was like waving a red rag to a bull. This diminutive fighter from the unfancied camp of George Khosi came back with guns blazing attempting to blow Almeida away with a variety of clinical missiles.

But Almeida, who made her debut in New Zealand in 2007 without Boxing SA's approval, weathered the storm. In the end Mrwebi was deservedly declared a split points winner. One judge scored it in favour of Almeida while two scored it in favour of Mrwebi.

Other results:

Junior lightweight: Thompson Mokwana bt Sifiso Mthethwa (ko 4); Lightweight: Thulani Mbatha beat Lebo Mboniswa (ko 1); Junior welterweight: Hebet Nkabiti bt Masanda Kakaza (tko 1); Junior welterweight: Johnny Koen bt Andile Mabilisa (ko 2).