Tenge to display her dexterity at Palace of Dreams

Noni Tenge punishes Mapule Ngubane during Tenge's successful defence in Kagiso on the West Rand last year.
Noni Tenge punishes Mapule Ngubane during Tenge's successful defence in Kagiso on the West Rand last year.
Image: Roderick Mulungana

Noni "She Bee Stingin" Tenge will finally make her boxing debut at Emperors Palace, which is South Africa's version of the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.

She is the most successful female boxer in the country. It would have been improper for her to eventually retire from competitive boxing without having fought at the imposing Palace of Dreams, which is situated next to the OR Tambo International Airport.

It is at that venue where history was made in 2007 when South Africans witnessed for the first time a world female boxing championship in action.

America's boxing queen Laila "She Bee Stingin" Ali, the daughter of late legendary heavyweight world champion Muhammad Ali, retained her Women International Boxing Association and WBC super middleweight titles with a first-round knockout of Gwendolyn O'Neill on February 3.

That history-making bout was staged by Rodney Berman, who will again stage Tenge's fight against former WBC silver welterweight champion Lolito Muzeya from Zambia, also in February next year.

Berman said: "Her management approached Peter Smith to train her and he agreed. I'm in negotiations with the WBC to allow me to do either an international or silver title fight for Noni and Muzeya, who is rated No1 at welterweights. Tenge will be the first local female boxer to be promoted by Golden Gloves and we are looking forward to giving her the deserved opportunity."

Tenge, from Mdantsane, is the former WBF and IBF welterweight and WBF junior middleweight champion.

Tenge was the first female boxer from Africa to win the IBF strap in a championship fight that was staged by Branco Milenkovic in 2011 at Carnival City, where she pulverised defending champion Daniela Smith from New Zealand in seven rounds.

Tenge, 37, remains the only local fighter to have won three world titles in two weight divisions.

The Port Elizabeth-based talented boxer, who spent most of her life in East London, has not fought since retaining her WBF junior middleweight belt on points against Mapule "Thunder" Ngubane in Kagiso in September last year. That was Tenge's 18th win against a loss and a draw.

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