Date set for historic rematch between Miller, Fortuin

KZN chosen as neutral venue for the bout

Mellissa 'Honey Bee' Miller and Sharradene Fortuin exchange leather during their fight which Fortuin controversially won.
Mellissa 'Honey Bee' Miller and Sharradene Fortuin exchange leather during their fight which Fortuin controversially won.
Image: Audrey Bonniwell

History in the local female boxing will be made on December 4 when a national title fight will be contested after a review panel of judges scored it in favour of the defeated boxer.

Mellissa “Honey Bee” Miller lost the SA bantamweight belt due to dubious scoring by judges in August. Two scored it in favour of cleanly beaten Sharradene Fortuin while the third judge scored it a draw.

The verdict caused an uproar within the fight sector generally. Miller’s team, headed by trainer Lucky Ramagole, lodged a formal protest with Boxing SA and two judges from a neutral province, including one from Gauteng, were appointed to review the taped 10-rounder.

All three judges scored the fight in favour of Miller, who was the deserving winner in the eyes of many fans who watched the bout on SABC. BSA called on for a purse bid and Zandile Malinga’s Starline Boxing Promotions won it.

She confirmed yesterday that December 4 is the date for this historic rematch. It will headline a tournament which will be the last for the year in KwaZulu-Natal. That is the neutral venue to both fighters. Miller if from Eldorado Park, southern Johannesburg, while Miller is from the Eastern Cape, but is based in Gauteng.

Malinga said: “I think boxing people want a clear and clean result; there was so much talk around Fortuin’s win. I watched it with my family and we were talking, so did the whole boxing family. I hope that Fortuin will come out and put up a convincing performance and prove that she is the rightful person to hold the national title. On the other hand, if Mellisa believes the title is hers she should come out guns blazing and prove that. Hopefully, out of this there will be no talks.”

Officially, Fortuin, who is trained in Benoni by Harry Ramogoadi, will be defending the title. In the main supporting bout, Gabisile “Simply the Best” Tshabalala of the Evaton Gym of trainer Elias Mpembe will face Noxolo Makhanavu over eight rounds.

Malinga said she will be assisted financially by the KwaZulu-Natal government in staging the event.

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