TLB lines up cracking series of festive bouts

Promoter Kungwane working to get fans back into arenas

Peter Pamabeni of Zimbabwe and Xolisani Ndongeni of South Africa with TLB promoter Joyce Kungwane during the 'The Night of Honor and Passion' Boxing tournament press conference.
Peter Pamabeni of Zimbabwe and Xolisani Ndongeni of South Africa with TLB promoter Joyce Kungwane during the 'The Night of Honor and Passion' Boxing tournament press conference.
Image: Lefty Shivambu

TLB Promotions has started cooking up a storm of a boxing feast which promoter Joyce Kungwane says will be dished out to fans during the festive season.

That, she said, is because it will be her last tournament of the year. “I can’t even sleep; my mind is in overdrive because I want personalities; I want to present to the fans the type of tournament that will stimulate the sports ministry in such a way that they will seriously consider allowing fans back to the boxing arenas next year,” she said yesterday.

It is rumoured that BSA's 2017 boxer of the year, Zolani “Last Born” Tete, could feature prominently in the tournament. Pressed to confirm or deny the rumours, Kungwane refused to entertain that tittle-tattle.

There is a connection between Tete and TLB. Tete won the IBF junior-bantamweight belt under trainer Lehlohonolo Ledwaba, who is one of the founder members of TLB Promotions – the others being Dingaan Thobela, Jan Bergman and Kungwane.

“Watch this space,” giggled Kungwane yesterday. “One thing I can confirm is the return of Tsiko Mulovhedzi.” The awkward hard hitter from Vhembe, in Limpopo, last saw action in 2019 in Russia.

He will face SA-based Congolese Kuvesa Katembo who is trained by John Tshabalala at the Bonyeme Gym of manager Patrick Bonyeme in Glenhazel. Mulovhedzi’s corner will be manned by veteran trainer Norman Hlabane and Charity Mukondeleli.

TLB is renowned for resuscitating the careers of forgotten fighters. Some of the notable names that Kungwane brought back from oblivion are Xolisani Ndongeni, Thulani Mbenge and Bukiwe Nonina.

Ndongeni and Mbenge had spent more than a year without action. While Ndongeni has had six fights under this company, including winning the WBF lightweight belt, Mbenge had two fights and he reclaimed both the ABU and SA welterweight belts under Kungwane.

Nonina spent two years idling. The former SA and WBF bantamweight undefeated champion made a positive comeback three weeks ago by winning her eight-rounder against Ntomboqala Ntolashe in TLB’s tournament at Meropa Casino in Polokwane.

“Now it is Tsiko’s turn,” said Kungwane in reference to the former SA welterweight titlist. “We as TLB believe in giving boxers chances.”

The lanky Busakwe will make a comeback following his 10th-round stoppage loss to vastly experienced SA lightweight holder Tshifhiwa Munyai in May. Busakwe will defend his provincial belt against Kabelo Bikitsha from the Team Dida of trainer Pius Dipheko.

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