BOXING has shown great improvement and growth in the Chris Hani district, with more tournaments being hosted and four boxing clubs formed this year.
Chris Hani Amateur Boxing Organisation (Chabo) secretary Mabhuti Mapeyi said locals were starting to show great interest in the sport.
“Boxing has grown a lot in our region this year, particularly in the rural areas where it has been well received.
“We want to make boxing in rural areas a priority for next year as we want to host tournaments in the villages,” he said.
The four new clubs are Dancing Shoes Boxing Club from Cofimvaba, Nkwenkwana Boxing Club from Engcobo, Bengu Boxing Club from Lady Frere and Gcina Boxing Club from Zingquthu.
Mapeyi said various initiatives hosted this year had been successful, including the boxing league which was introduced for eight clubs to help identify boxing talent from a young age and to groom boxers wanting to turn professional.
The outdoor boxing tournaments were brought back through a partnership between the Queenstown Boys Boxing Club (QBBC) and Spargs SuperSpar.
“The outdoor boxing tournament with Spargs was well attended. It motivated kids to come to the gym,” he said.
“Prior to the tournament, we had 30 boxers but immediately after that we had 48 boxers at the gym.”
A number of local boxers also excelled at various district and provincial championships.
“When we look back at the performances of our boxers, it has been a good year.
“We started with a tournament in Cala.
“We also went to the provincial trials in East London and some of our boxers made it to the finals.”
Another highlight for Komani was the number of elite boxing games hosted in the area this year including the WBO Africa welterweight fight between veteran Eastern Cape boxer Ali Funeka and Ghanaian Justice Addy at the Thobi Kula Indoor Sports Centre, and a provincial tournament at the Gali Thembani Centre.
“Our boxers came out tops and some made it to the finals and ended up being selected to be a part of the provincial team that went to Durban this year.
“In August we had a women’s tournament in Buffalo City, where we took 11 female boxers who were there to fight for the first time on a provincial level. They did not win but they showed that we have a lot of talent here,” Mapeyi said.