Tenge ruffles the feathers

Noni Tenge, right, exchanges leather with Daniela Smith from New Zealand in their IBF world welterweight title fight at Carnival City.
Noni Tenge, right, exchanges leather with Daniela Smith from New Zealand in their IBF world welterweight title fight at Carnival City.
Image: ANTONIO MUCHAVE

Celebrated local boxer pulls out of world title fight.

South Africa's celebrated female boxer Noni "She Bee Stingin" Tenge's withdrawal from a dual world title fight against American Claressa "T-Rex" Shields has left the president of WBF, Howard Goldberg, raging.

Tenge - the 36-year-old former IBF and WBF welterweight champion who currently holds the WBF junior middleweight title - was expected to square up against the 22-year-old American in the US on April 20.

"I spoke to Noni last Tuesday and she was so excited for the fight and the opportunity to headline a tournament in the USA. The fight was for both the IBF and WBF world titles," Goldberg explained.

"But she has pulled out. Noni has embarrassed South African boxing. She signed a contract to fight Claressa Shields in the USA on April 20 and suddenly pulled out, leaving US promoter Dmitry Salita furious."

Tenge was not available for comment. The general feeling is that she is scared of Shields. But the South African has more experience than Shields. Tenge has knocked out 10 of her 18 victims. Her only loss was to the US's Layla "Amazing" McCarter.

Shields, from Flint in Michigan, is the first female boxer to win consecutive medals at the Olympic Games - in 2012 and 2016. She holds both the WBC and IBF super middleweight titles.

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