Promoter predicts a change of guard in local boxing

Ntuthu welcomes buzz but warns fight fans to stay away from tourney

IBF president Darryl Peoples, left, presents his organisation’s promoter of the year award on the African continent to Rumble Africa boss Thembalethu Ntuthu.
IBF president Darryl Peoples, left, presents his organisation’s promoter of the year award on the African continent to Rumble Africa boss Thembalethu Ntuthu.
Image: Nomfesane Nyathela

Boxing promoter Thembalethu Ntuthu welcomed the news that fight fans from East London are driving down to Gqeberha where his Rumble Africa Promotions (RAP) will stage a star-studded boxing tournament at Boardwalk Casino tomorrow.

But he was forced to remind people that no spectators would be allowed at tomorrow's tournament, as per government regulations.

“Fans remain banned from attending boxing so they may come as long as they don’t come near the Boardwalk Casino.”

Ntuthu is one of the many concerned individuals who would appreciate government allowing at least 250 people into boxing arenas during tournaments. Sports minister Nathi Mthethwa has left it to sports federations to indicate to his department their plans to bring back fans.

The promoter said he is looking forward to hosting another top class tournament.

“Whenever we stage a tournament we are happy, particularly with the performance of athletes that fight under our banner,” he said.

“They don’t make us regret spending lots of money. All of our fighters in this tournament make me to cross fingers because they are facing a tough test. But they must be tested – swim through all difficult fights so that we begin to look at bigger fights for them.”

Ntuthu said Sive Nontshinga, Azinga Fuzile, Yanga Siqgibo and Lerato Dlamini are gradually being withdrawn from local scenes.

“We are introducing a newer crop of boxer, including Luyanda Ntwanambi, Ayabonga Sonjica and Lusizo Manzana,” he said.

Nontshinga will headline the bill tomorrow with an IBF junior-flyweight eliminator over 12 rounds against Cristian Arietta of the Philippines. The winner will earn the right to challenge for the IBF belt.

Sigqibo’s WBO International junior-bantamweight crown will be on the line against Aranetta’s home boy Jerald Paclar, while WBC Silver featherweight champ Dlamini will welcome Malawian Hassan Milanzi over 10 rounds. Ntwanambi will challenge Jackson Chauke for both the SA and WBO global  flyweight belts with Sonjica opposing Theophillus Tetteh from Ghana for the vacant IBO Africa junior-featherweight title.

Manzana will take on Thembelani Nxoshe in the flyweight division over six rounds with Nozipho Bell and Asandiswa Nxokwana completing the programme with their six-rounder in the female junior-lightweight weight class.

Meanwhile, Khanyile Bulana takes on Michael Magnesi for the IBO junior-lightweight title in Italy tonight.

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