Sanity prevails as boxing returns home to ekasi

Walter Dlamini and Wade Groth size each other up during the WBA Pan African and SA middleweight title fight which Dlamini won in a record 42 seconds. / Nick Lourens
Walter Dlamini and Wade Groth size each other up during the WBA Pan African and SA middleweight title fight which Dlamini won in a record 42 seconds. / Nick Lourens

Sanity has prevailed - professional boxing goes back to the townships - and the first tournament will take place at KwaThema, Springs, on March 10.

That is home to the legendary Simon "Tsipa" Skosana (SA bantamweight champion) and Silence "Real Deal" Mabuza (IBO bantamweight titlist). That is where Ditau "Diarora" Molefyane from Tembisa won the vacant SA featherweight against Welile Vumsindo in 1989.

The last professional tournament took place in Springs in 2009. It was the IBF bantamweight eliminator between Mabuza and Yonnhy Perez - a bout the Colombian won by a knockout in the 12th round - and it was staged by promoter Branco Milenkovic.

Credit should go to SuperSport for partnering with promoter Sandile Xaka of Supreme Boxing Promotions. Their upcoming joint tournament will be headlined by a South African championship bout.

Walter "Black Mamba" Dlamini will defend his middleweight belt against Fernando Rodriguez.

Dlamini, who is trained in Booysens, Johannesburg, by Lion Hunter, is from Limpopo. He won the title from Wade Groth in 42 seconds - the shortest title fight in SA boxing history - at Emperors Palace on December 8.

Rodriguez, who forms part of the stable of Alan Toweel Junior, is from the west rand. He is a novice of six wins, a loss and a draw.

SuperSport will broadcast the tournament.

"Going back to the township means a lot to me really. We are reviving boxing in the suburbs but we have to take it back where it started, in the townships," Xaka said.

"The likes of Arthur Mayisela, Jacob Matlala, Brian Mitchell, Dingaan Thobela, Vuyani Bungu, Welcome Ncita were made in the townships.

"We are trying to bring back the lost dignity of the SA title. I believe that the first tournament on March 10 is the first towards many that will follow," he said.

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