Granny saves SA title fight

A 70-year-old Port Elizabeth granny who is a boxing promoter has come to Tshepo Lefele and Siviwe Ntsiko's rescue after deciding to stage a South African mini flyweight title fight between the two fighters.

Granny Gladys "Noforty" Tsenene - trading as Rainbow Promotions - will pit current South African minimum weight champion Lefele against Ntsiko at the Raymond Mhlaba Sports Complex in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth, on November 5.

The clash has been postponed a number of times since December last year because no promoter wanted to stage it, but Tsenene has come on board.

Initially, this contest was pencilled for Queenstown in Eastern Cape on December 5 but it was called off at the 11th hour after fight promoter Chris Pondo failed to come up with the boxers' purse.

"I cannot sit and fold my arms while these young men are struggling to get fights," Tsenene said yesterday.

"I have decided to promote this fight and I will take boxing to the people, thus the tournament will be held in Motherwell."

Tsenene - one of only two female boxing promoters in the country, with the other being Mbali Zantsi - has revealed that she will dig deep into her pockets to finance the tournament as she has so far failed to secure sponsorships despite knocking on many doors.

Be that as it may, Tsenene is quite optimistic that she might be able to secure a sponsorship in the next few weeks.

"I'm going to use my money to stage this tournament because I have not been successful in securing a sponsorship though I'm still confident that something good might come my way as there are people who have shown an interest in helping me financially," she said.

Lefele, originally from Theunissen in Free State, is trained by Nick Durandt in Johannesburg, while Ntsiko's skills are honed by Lennox Mpulampula in Mdantsane.

The champion has not fought since he was stopped in the sixth round by Japanese boxer Katsunari Takayama on September 1 last year when the duo were clashing for the right to earn a crack at IBF mini flyweight champion Nkosinathi "Mabhere" Joyi.

Takayama will now challenge Joyi at the Orient Theatre in East London on October 29.