Mbenge challenges SA champ Ndwayana in main bout in Kagiso

Boxing promoter throws hat in ring in fight against GBV

Joyce Kungwane of TLB Promotions at the press conference in Klipspruit Sports Centre,Soweto.
Joyce Kungwane of TLB Promotions at the press conference in Klipspruit Sports Centre,Soweto.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

It has been announced that statistically, SA is ranked 38th out of 163 of the most violent countries in the world. The country has become a terror for women and children because of its high levels of gender-based violence (GBV) and other related issues.

Various organisation are working together to eliminate the scourge of violence, yet Joyce Kungwane feels that the boxing fraternity has been left out of such initiatives. The boxing promoter, who trades under the banner of TLB Boxing Promotions, says that is why she has taken it upon herself to spread awareness of the fight against GBV using her tournament at Kagiso Memorial Centre on Friday night.

She has dubbed it “Don’t look away; Keep Punching”. Kungwane is putting on the tournament with the help of the Gauteng department of sport and LTE Consulting.

“The tournament is in support of the fight against gender-based violence,” she said yesterday. “I hope our little contribution in making awareness about this GBV will go a long way and assist in all the attempts that have been made to put an end to this scourge. I am looking forward to being part of this awareness and I am actually excited even with all the administrative challenges, including the bio-bubble, that we face. Remember, a tournament was cancelled due to Covid-19-positive cases. I am glad that I [can] stage another tournament in the space of two months.” 

Her first – under strict conditions that included a ban on fans – took place in October at Klipspruit Sport Centre in Soweto, where Thulani Mbenge won the ABU welterweight title on points against Kuvesa Katembo.

Mbenge will challenge SA champion Mziwoxolo Ndwayana in the main bout of Kungwane’s seven-bout bill in Kagiso. It will be the second meeting between the two boxers. Mbenge, then SA champion, defeated Ndwayana on points in 2017.

Khaya Busakwe will put the Gauteng lightweight title on the line against Bheki Mahlangu in the main supporting bout. Bonita van Jaarsveld and Raider Muleba will meet in a non-title bout in the female section.

Meanwhile, US-based South African Chris “The Heat” van Heerden will oppose Jaron “Boots” Ennis for the vacant IBO welterweight title at Mohegan Sun Casino, Uncasville in Connecticut on Sunday morning.

Van Heerden once held that belt, which he later vacated. He has 28 wins in 31 fights while Ennis, from Philadelphia, is undefeated after 26 fights.

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