Hadebe given a chance to shine in front of home fans

Smangele Hadebe receives BSA's Female Prospect of the Year Award from Arnold Schwarzenegger and BSA board member Matilda Kabini in Sandton.
Smangele Hadebe receives BSA's Female Prospect of the Year Award from Arnold Schwarzenegger and BSA board member Matilda Kabini in Sandton.
Image: Christo Smith

Fight fans at KwaThema Community Hall in Springs, Ekurhuleni, must expect a splendid performance from local wondergirl Smangele "Smash" Hadebe in her first pro fight at home against Siphosethu Nxazonke from the Eastern Cape.

Their non-title flyweight bout will form part of the bill - a maiden tournament - to be staged by esteemed former trainer and now promoter Elias "Mr Fantastic" Tshabalala on June 9.

Tshabalala trades under the banner of Fantastic 2 Boxing Promotion.

His tournament, he said, was to honour the fallen heroes of Springs, and that includes former SA bantamweight champion Simon "Tsipa" Skosana.

Hadebe, who has won Boxing SA's Female Prospect of the Year Award back to back in 2017 and last year, said: "I don't know Nxazonke, I have never seen her in action and I don't care. The first round will give me the idea of what to expect and my trainers [Lionel Hunter and Tamrin Raynor] will have seen something and that will be it."

Hadebe fell in love with boxing after watching Million Dollar Baby - a an action packed boxing movie which features Clint Eastwood and female boxer Hillary Swank.

"I then joined Milla High Boxing Club in KwaThema before being introduced to Themba Zulu (who passed on last year)."

Hadebe said she was delighted to have won BSA's prospect award back to back.

"I want bigger ones next year be it boxer of the year or my fight wins fight of the year award because I must give newcomers a chance to be recognised while stepping up," said the boxer whose female manager Colleen MacAusland was voted manager of the year.

Hadebe said her toughest opponent to date was Ellen "Tigress" Simwaka - the Malawian who stopped her in the seventh round for the WBF bantamweight title.

Hadebe wants to meet Leighandre "Baby Lee" Jegels. "She is a good boxer and I like to fight opponents better than me so that I am able to gauge myself as a fighter. I want to climb the ladder and move forward," said Hadebe, who has five wins, three losses and two draws.

The much-awaited tournament will be headlined by the SA lightweight title fight between holder Thompson Mokwana and Ayanda Nkosi.

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