Nonina 'has not run out of local rivals'

SA junior featherweight champion Gabisile 'Simply The Best' Tshabalala.
SA junior featherweight champion Gabisile 'Simply The Best' Tshabalala.

Bukiwe "Anaconda" Nonina must stop lying to the nation by saying that she has run out of opposition locally as a fighter, warns trainer Elias Mpembe.

Mpembe was responding to Nonina's statement on The TKO boxing magazine show that she has no opposition in South Africa.

Nonina - the first female boxer in the country to own Boxing SA's championship belt after registering five defences - made the statement after retaining her WBF bantamweight belt on points against Matshido "Nomeva" Mokebisi in a tournament in Welkom last month.

But Mpembe, who trains WBF junior featherweight champion Gabisile "Simply the Best" Tshabalala, said: "Talk is cheap, especially when you know that people will not be in an appropriate position to quickly put you in your place if you are lying.

"If I were Bukiwe, I would call Gabisile's name so that she avenges the loss to Gabisile and then claim to be the best. For now, all what Bukiwe is saying is hot air.

"Gabisile beat Bukiwe for the SA junior featherweight title in 2011. Instead of challenging us for a rematch, Bukiwe moved up to bantamweight. Only Nomvelo Magcaba raised her hand and we beat her.

"Gabisile stayed two years without action and we came back and beat Unathi Myekeni for the WBF junior featherweight title," said Mpembe.

"After that fight we lost to Catherine Phiri for the WBC bantamweight title in Lusaka, and later beat Matshidiso Mokebisi in Durban.

"What I am saying here is that Bukiwe must show the size of her heart by personally calling out Gabisile or we will do that ourselves and whoever promotes her must do that fight to decide the best between Gabisile and Bukiwe."

Tshabalala was voted 2011 BSA prospect of the year, while Nonina won the boxer of the year award in January.