Female fighters ring changes

NONI Tenge and Fransieska Mbang will make history when they step into a boxing ring tomorrow night at East London's Orient Theatre.

NONI Tenge and Fransieska Mbang will make history when they step into a boxing ring tomorrow night at East London's Orient Theatre.

They will be the first women boxers from Africa to fight for a world title in South Africa.

They will also be the first to compete for a world title sanctioned by the newly established World Boxing Foundation (WBF).

Tenge - who is from Mdantsane in Eastern Cape - and Gauteng-based Cameroonian Mbang, will fight for the WBF's welterweight belt.

This fight will be presented jointly by Eastern Cape promoters S'Phatho Handi and Koko Godlo under Mamali Promotions and KK Productions.

But it will not be the first time South Africa hosts a women's world championship.

The first took place at Emperors Palace in Gauteng on February 2. It was for the WBC and Women's International Boxing Association super middleweight belts.

Champion Laila "She Bee Stingin" Ali stung Gwendolyn O'Neil 56 seconds into the first round to retain her belts. The historic bout was presented by Rodney Berman under the banner of Golden Gloves Promotions.

Tenge is trained in Mdantsane by Lennox Mpulampula, while Mbang's skills are honed in Gauteng by George Khosi.

The combatants meet for the second time. They fought out a draw in a six-round non-title fight at Great Centenary Hall in Port Elizabeth on November 16 2007.

Some people thought Mbang deserved the nod. Tenge's slate is still clean after eight fights, while Mbang has a win and one defeat, according to BoxRec.com.

Meanwhile, the main bout, the South African featherweight championship in the men's section, is between holder Thando Vukuza and Sabelo Jubatha.

Vukuza and Jubatha are from boxing-crazy Eastern Cape. The fight will be televised live on Blow by Blow at 10pm.

Sadly though, Vukuza's trainer Welsh Mnguni will not be in the corner to guide his charge in his first defence.

Welsh, the nephew of accomplished manager Mzimasi Mnguni, passed on two months ago.

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