Confusion clouds ABU title fight

Cindy Ncube, left, and Matshidiso Mokebisi exchange blows during their ABU SADC fight at the Portuguese Hall, south of Johannesburg last Friday. Despite her injury, Mokebisi was announced the winner.
Cindy Ncube, left, and Matshidiso Mokebisi exchange blows during their ABU SADC fight at the Portuguese Hall, south of Johannesburg last Friday. Despite her injury, Mokebisi was announced the winner.
Image: JEREMY BEAN

There is still confusion regarding the manner in which Matshidiso "Nomeva" Mokebisi won the ABU SADC junior featherweight title against Zimbabwean Cindy Ncube last weekend.

Mokebisi, from Kroonstad in Free State, won the bout by a split-points decision after their bout had ended in the seventh round following Mokebisi's injury. She dislocated her elbow after missing with a jab in round six.

Mokebisi fought with one hand in round seven. Doctor Solly Skosana stepped in the corner to examine the injury. He then pointed out to referee Ishmael Koali and Dr Peter Ngatane - who supervised the bout - that the bone was out of the socket. It was clear Mokebisi would not continue and the fight was stopped.

Scores were tallied and Mokebisi, who looked to have been ahead on points, was declared a winner by a split-points decision.

That is when confusion reigned because Boxing SA rules state: "In the event of deliberate or accidental unlawful conduct contemplated the referee shall, if the injured boxer refuses or is unwilling to continue boxing on the instruction of the referee and the referee is of the opinion that the injured boxer is able to continue boxing, disqualify the injured boxer and award the fight to his or her opponent."

The injury was self-inflicted, therefore Mokebisi should have lost the fight by a technical decision unless the ABU has its own set of rules.

Ngatane, a medical doctor by profession said: "The fight ended controversially. Under normal circumstances Matshidiso would have lost the fight by abandonment. Due to certain variables including the intervention of the doctor before the referee, we employed Rule 18. Due to this abnormality and controversy I am in consultation as to the best way to address the situation"

Mokebisi, a former South African and WBF International champion said: "My
elbow is okay now, but I was in pain."

At the same tournament that was organised by Cape Town-based promoter Steve Kalakoda on Friday last week, Smangele "Smash" Hadebe and Malawian Ellen Simwaka drew for the ABU SADC bantamweighttil after 10 closely contested rounds.

The tournament at the
Portuguese Hall, which marked Africa Day Celebrations, coincided with the inaugural South African Boxing Convention.

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