Boxing to honour Tata with four-title tourney

Nelson Mandela was an aspirant boxer during his youth.
Nelson Mandela was an aspirant boxer during his youth.
Image: Joe Sefale

He threw the knockout punch to the apartheid regime, and that's one of
the reasons Nelson Mandela's spirit lives on today.

The aspirant boxer will aptly be celebrated by the boxing fraternity with a tournament featuring four international championships on July 27. That will be nine days after what would have been his 100th birthday.

BSA's 2017 promoter of the year, Ayanda Matiti, said his Xaba Promotions and Events, the Mandela Foundation and the Eastern Cape department of sport, arts and culture will jointly stage the must-see tournament at East London's International Convention Centre.

Matiti's tournament - the fifth he will stage to celebrate the life and times of the late statesman - will be a box-and-dine event. Ordinary fans will be replaced with those in gowns and tuxedos. The tournament boasts an IBO, WBA and four IBF-sanctioned bouts.

Gideon "Hard Core" Buthelezi will top the programme with the fourth defence of his IBO bantamweight title against Lucas Emmanuel Fernandes Leone of Argentina.

Buthelezi, 31, the smart left-hander from the Vaal, who is trained by Elias Tshabalala, last fought in July when he outpointed Ryan Rey Ponteras of the Philippines.

The fight was staged by Matiti at the same venue that will be used for his upcoming tournament.

Yanga "Showtime" Sigqibo from Mdantsane will welcome Renie Dasall of the Philippines for the vacant WBC international junior bantamweight title, while his homeboy Ntlantla "24" Ngamntwini will oppose Mexican Uliser Salvador Lara for the vacant WBA Intercontinental junior bantamweight belt.

Uyanda "Big Bear" Nogogo of Mdantsane and Tanzanian Uliza Aliza will do battle for the vacant IBF Youth welterweight strap. Only Nogogo's fight will be over 10 rounds - the rest of the title bouts will be contested over 12 rounds.

There will also be three six-rounders, including a female bout.

Said Matiti: "There will be build-up events like the 67th-minute community activities involving different leaders. Activities on the day will start after the morning session, with the Nelson Mandela Museum putting up stalls to showcase the life and times of the icon."

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