Boxing promoter relieved as costly bio-bubble is canned

Covid-19 tests now done day before official weigh-in

Joyce Kungwane of TLB Promotions.
Joyce Kungwane of TLB Promotions.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Promoter Joyce Kungwane is ecstatic that the costly bio-bubble has been done away with. The director of TLB Boxing Promotions commended the new BSA board not only for listening when promoters needed a shoulder to cry on but also for acting decisively.

The bio-bubble is a venue sealed off from the outside world where tournament participants are housed and fed before the event by the organiser, who must make sure that they are screened and tested for Covid-19 before entering the bubble. It can be a costly exercise.

Kungwane yesterday said pre-fight Covid-19 tests will now be done a day before the official weigh-in.

“Once proven negative, a boxer goes for the weigh-in then self-isolates at home preparing for the fight the next day,” she explained.

Boxers typically stayed in the bubble for seven days. The exercise cost at least R100,000 and not all promoters could afford it. The result was fewer tournaments, with heavyweights like Rodney Berman’s Golden Gloves, Rumble Africa of Thembalethu Ntutu, Lebo Mahoko's Dream Team and Zandile Malinga’s Starline Boxing Promotions keeping the fires burning.

Kungwane said they met with the new Boxing SA board chaired by Luthando Jack on May 22 and raised many issues, including the bio-bubble.

“These are the results and we are appreciative of the fact that we have a new chairman who listens and also acts.” 

Berman will stage a two-in-one tournament at Emperors Palace tomorrow evening.

SA and ABU welterweight champ Thulani Mbenge will put his belts on line against WBA Pan African holder Jabulani Makhense in a winner-takes-all affair while Ludumo Lamati will challenge for the IBO junior- featherweight title against Jose Martin Estrada Garcia of Mexico in the main bout.

The first six bouts – featuring newcomers with less than 10 fights – will start at 2pm with the international event kicking off at 7pm.

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