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Shongwe’s showcase a boost for African boxing

ESPN Africa tournament to feature international bouts

Boxing promoter Sfiso Shongwe of The Disney Walt Company SA.
Boxing promoter Sfiso Shongwe of The Disney Walt Company SA.
Image: Supplied

Boxing promoter Sfiso Shongwe says it has been challenging for The Walt Disney Africa Company, whose boxing tournaments are televised live by ESPN Africa, to go from month to month maintaining a level of consistency and quality.

“But we remained resolute in delivering all 12 tournaments successfully while playing our part in the growth and resurgence of boxing,” he said yesterday.

Shongwe, who began staging his tournaments in Fourways before relocating to Sandton, has staged eight title fights, which included four South African titles.

Sibusiso Zingange won the SA lightweight belt from Phila Mpontshane; Cowin Ray successfully defended his SA super middleweight title against Andile Mntungwa and Bangile Nyangani did the same with his mini flyweight belt against Loyiso Ngantweni. Lunga Stemela dethroned Zingange in May.

Internationally, Malawian Ellen Simwaka won the IBF Africa bantamweight; Smangele Hadebe won the ABU flyweight against Tanzanian Halima Vunjabel; and national junior welterweight women’s champion Hedda Wolmarans took home the IBF Africa belt after defeating Malawian soldier Ruth Chisale.

Congolese Emmany Kalombo won the same organisation’s junior middleweight international belt against Kenyan Rayton Okwiri in what was ESPN African Boxing’s 18th tournament in Sandton last month.

On Thursday night, reigning flyweight king Jackson “M3” Chauke will vie for the ABU belt against Mustafa Mkupasi of Tanzania.

This contest will headline Shongwe’s international tournament, which features Xolisani “Nomeva” Ndingeni in a non title 10 rounder against Raymond “Robocop” Yanong from the Philippines.

“We are excited to put African boxing in a prominent role while also seeking international growth for established boxers like Ndongeni who have outgrown the local scene,” said Shongwe. “We hope all our audiences will tune in to the latest instalment of Africa boxing.”

There is huge interest in the eight rounder between Sabelo Ngibinyane and Mzuvukile Magwaca. Skilful Magwaca is a hot favourite but there are doubts about whether his left leg has fully recovered from a shooting at his house in Khayelitsha when he was robbed in 2018.

He spent almost four years without action and made a comeback in April, making easy work of Sanele Maduna, who went down in the second round. 

Ngebinyane is a rugged fighter whose awkwardness will definitely make Magwaca work.

“We’ve met all the requirements by Boxing SA. That also demonstrates that we are working within the regulations,” said Shongwe.

“From a Boxing SA perspective, Gauteng provincial manager Lehlohonolo Ramagole has been outstanding in discharging his duties and is always willing to assist wherever and whenever he is asked to.”

There will four further bouts and the action will begin at 6.30pm.

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