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Boxers do not feel included in Heritage month festivities despite raising the SA flag

Ayanda Matiti has tried to stage tournaments that talk to this day

Promoter Ayanda Matiti is flanked by Phumelela Cafu and Landile Ngxeke.
Promoter Ayanda Matiti is flanked by Phumelela Cafu and Landile Ngxeke.
Image: Supplied

The eternal hope that achievements by South African boxers in September will one day be recognised through a number of tournaments around the country during the annual Heritage Months celebration has fizzled out.

September 24 is celebrated in SA as Heritage Day and people showcase the nation’s diverse culture and heritage, however, boxing is left out. 

It could be that authorities are not aware that a large number of boxers succeeded in raising the South African flag during high profile matches locally and abroad in September.

South Africans are encouraged to celebrate their cultures and the diversity of their beliefs and traditions on Heritage Day, formerly known as Shaka Day in commemoration of Zulu king Shaka. But no attention has been given to boxing, except by promoter Ayanda Matiti whose Xaba Promotion and Events has constantly staged tournaments that talk to this particular day .

His fourth annual Heritage Day tournament was planned for September 30 in East London but has now  been postponed to October 1.

In the main contest Landile “Man Down” Ngxeke will defend his WBO global bantamweight title against Filipino Denmark Quibido in East London’s Orient Theatre.

Reigning SA flyweight holder Jackson “M3" Chauke will face Thembelani Nxoshe in the main supporting bout. Victory in what will be Chauke's fifth will see him become the rightful owner of the championship belt.  

About 20 local boxers have won world titles from different sanctioning bodies in September, includingDingaan Thobela winning the WBO lightweight belt on September 22, 1990. 

The WBO, which is based in Puerto Rico, was established in 1988. Thobela’s victory made him the first WBO champion in SA.

It was also in September when Thobela won the WBC super middleweight belt in 2001. Thobela turns 57 on Sunday September 24.

The list of locals who won world titles in September includes Gerrie Coetzee (WBA heavyweight), Brian Mitchell (WBA and IBF junior lightweight), Mpush Makambi (IBO middleweight), Jacob Mofokeng (WBU cruiserweight), Mzonke Fana (IBF junior lightweight), Mzukisi Sikali (IBO flyweight), Masibulele Makepula (WBU junior-flyweight), Simpiwe Nongqayi (IBF junior bantamweight), Kevin Lerena (IBO cruiserweight), Zolani Tete (WBF flyweight) and Hekkie Budler (IBO minimum).

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